Monday, April 28, 2008

I've waited for this for a long time...

Thomas brings home a book every night from school. As this year has gone by, the books have gotten better and better, and since he started on chapter books, things are great.

A few Sundays ago, I asked him to read the first two chapters of a book called Henry and Mudge: The Happy Cat. I was doing dishes, and I didn't really pay attention, but all of a sudden he stopped reading. I looked over and it appeared that he was closing the book, which led me to ask, "did you read the whole thing?"

Now, let me interject here something about Thomas: he LOVES cats. Our two youngest cats, Bucket and Squeegee, are his favorite friends. Bucket will curl up with Thomas whenever she gets the chance and will sit in his lap for as long as he will pet her. I've never known a cat to like a little boy, but Thomas is a cat lover, and they seem to love him back. And, for as good of a reader he is, he doesn't seem to really like it the way I think he could. I keep hoping, but I haven't seen a lot of evidence that he will one day while away a rainey day cuddled up with a book.

So, to answer my question, Thomas explained that he had finished the book. I asked him what it was about, and he said it was about a cat and a boy and a policeman that came to get the cat. At this point, his whole face fell, and he started to cry. It was as if he had lost his best friend or something. He came and sat in my lap and cried and cried. He was so sad that The Happy Cat, who had gotten lost from her family and had been taken in by Henry and his dog Mudge, had had to go home with her owner. It took Thomas the better part of an hour to compose himself; he sat on his bed for a long time and held Bucket and cried.

Now comes my confession. I LOVED that he cried over The Happy Cat. I'm probably the meanest mom in the whole world, but I thought it was great. I LOVE books that make me cry. I will read them over and over. When I read the Time Traveler's Wife for the first time, I sobbed for the last 200 pages of the book. I finished it in a night, and started reading it again the next day. Little Women? I cry every time Beth dies. I could go on and on with my tear-jerker books, but suffice it to say that to me, the sadder, the better.

I have fostered this little hope for a long time that my boys would be readers. Since this is the first year Thomas has been reading, I've often wondered when or if he would ever really start to enjoy it. He's a good reader, but usually as soon as he completes the assigned reading, he is more than happy to put the book down and do something else. That Sunday I saw him be engaged to the point that he didn't want to stop reading after the first two chapters; he went on and finished the whole book so that he could find out what happened to the Happy Cat. I saw him internalize the characters enough that he felt strongly enough about them to cry for them. I hope that the more he reads, the more he will find how wonderful it is to read.


Melanie said...

That is awesome! It's got to be so exciting to watch him grow in his reading. I hope for your sake that someday he'll love it as much as you do.

Amy Sorensen said...

I get it. My kids love to read but none of them are criers. Ah, well---you can't have it all!!!

Jeff & Kayci Bitton said...

What a bitter sweet moment! I can't believe how old Thomas is getting. TIME FLIES!! =) Glad to hear you guys are doing well! Love you!