Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Heart is Full: Reading and My Sons

I love teaching. I love helping kids find a passion for reading and writing. I love showing them they can find success in what they do. I love teaching them how to be the best people they can be. These things fill me up, but don't hold a candle to the joy my own boys bring me.

Luke and Liam are bookending middle school next year. Luke will be an 8th grader, Liam a 6th grader, and I will be teaching 7th grade. The Sokolowskis are taking over. My boys have always been readers, but that is not by accident. 

Books fill our house - overfill it if you want to be more accurate. I read to them daily as babies and young children. Chris did too. Trips to the library or the bookstore happen weekly. We talk about books, make predictions, and plan for what they are reading next. And reading - daily - has always been a requirement. Thirty minutes during the school year, an hour a day in the summer. By this point in their lives, I don't have to make sure they do it. There might be days they don't read the entire time I requested, but other days they read far longer. They are readers. 

That alone makes me happy, but the fact that they identify that way fills my heart. I see this so many times, I could fill pages if I record them all. Today, however, there was this moment. Liam came in the kitchen and I told him I had something to show him. Phil Bildner had released the cover for his third book - Tournament of Champions - which is coming out next summer. (You can see his post HERE.)  Liam did a fist pump, even when I told him he had a year to wait. 

Then he said, "Mom, that Phil Bildner is still my favorite author."

I smiled and agreed. Liam has loved the first two books in this series more than anything he's ever read. 

He looked back at the cover and said, "When that comes out, I'm heading to your bed and reading all day until I finish. I just want to read it all." 

He walked out of the kitchen munching a chocolate chip cookie and my heart soared.

Thanks, Phil, for making my kid love a book so much he wants to spend a summer day reading it - a year from now. Thanks for being an author who always tweets my students back. We can't wait to see what you write next.