He read the first page and put it away.
Months later he read the first page again and put it away.
Last week I informed him that I wanted him to read it. I knew it wasn't too hard. I really thought he'd like it. If he read fifty pages and hated it, he didn't have to finish it. But I didn't tell him that.
He read page one. And two and three and on and on and on.
He reads 30 minutes a day for school. Usually he asks me after 10 or 11 or 12 minutes just how long it's been. Then again at the 17 minute mark. Again at 26 minutes. He's a good reader and he loves being read to. He just never really much liked independent reading. Unless, like I said, it was a book about Greg Heffley and his wimpy antics. One day last week, he asked if he could keep reading after I told him his 30 minutes were up.
Monday he had a 102.8 temperature when he woke up and he had to stay home from school. I was working so his dad stayed with him and worked from home. When I got back in the afternoon, I discovered that he'd been reading for a major portion of the day.
Last night, at 9:52 (well past bedtime), I went into the boys' room. I'm obsessive compulsive about checking on my kids to make sure they're breathing. This started when they were two minutes old and hasn't stopped. It's a problem because, well, when they go off to college or get their own place or get married, I am not going to have nightly access to their breathing habits. I don't know what I'll do. I'm looking in to a support group.
I bent down to check Matthew. He sighed loudly. Then I reached up to the top bunk. Garrett was heaped up under his blanket and I couldn't figure out where his head even was. Assuming he was asleep and buried under his blanket, I hoisted myself onto Matthew's bed so that I could better investigate whether Garrett was, indeed, still alive. I lifted it and discovered my nine year old, that book, and a flashlight.
"Garrett! It's 10:00 at night. You are not supposed to be reading. You're supposed to be sleeping!"
He looked at me like I was a moron. "But, Mom, I want to read. They just got sucked into a storybook! Please can I keep reading?"
"No. You may not. It's time to sleep."
I went down and told my husband that our boy's late night reading disobedience was maybe our greatest parenting win. I made him put the book away for the night but I couldn't be more proud of the fact that I found him ignoring his bed time.
He's reading the first book in the series. There are more. And I'm a happy mama. Bonus: he was still breathing.