opening books together
“I’d rather stay home with Mom.” I’m not even joking, these are the exact words out of Sam’s mouth when we asked him to get ready to go to Club Riot, the Wednesday evening meeting for kids every March and October. The girls love it. Sam always opts to stay home.
I thought he’d go this time around.
Is it bad that a little part of me is glad he turned it down again to stay home with me?
Before the rest of the family was even out of the garage, Sam and I were snuggled on the couch with a nonfiction book about hurricanes. “I’ve been waiting for you to get to read this one with me,” he said. “Now’s a perfect time because we won’t be rushed.” I’m not even joking, he wanted to stay home to read together — not because he thought he’d get extra iPad time.
We read some and talked some, read some and talked some. The talk was about hurricanes, but other things too. He told me stories about recess and math, this friend and that, tornadoes and the way they are the same and different from hurricanes.
We read some and talked some. He asked me about heaven. It surprised me.
“Do you think we’ll be sad when we die?”
“No, we won’t be sad. You aren’t sad in heaven.”
“What does it feel like to go to heaven?”
“I don’t know.” I’ve thought a little about it, but not a lot.
“Does anyone know?”
“Some people do. Another teacher at school was telling me about a book he’s reading about a little boy who had emergency surgery and went to heaven. He lived after the surgery and told his parents about what he experienced. Then they wrote his story. The book is called Heaven is for Real.”
“Have you read it?” I’m beginning to think Sam has thought about going to heaven a lot more than I have.
“No. Do you want to read it?”
“Do you have it?”
“No, but I could get it if you want to read it.”
He looked up at me, his blue eyes wide. “Of course I want to read it. You know I love books.”
I smiled. “I’ll get a copy then.”
“Thanks, Mom. That’s a good thing about our family. We get books.”
Then he turned the page of the hurricane book in our laps. He read the sidebar information aloud. I tried to concentrate, but it was hard snuggled against this remarkable reader. From hurricanes to heaven and back to hurricanes. Later he will be snuggled in his own bed, reading book one of Harry Potter.
In the swirl of a family of six sometimes it’s hard to find quiet moments to snuggle with just one child and a book. It’s a moment I will treasure. I know there will come a time when he will not choose me over an evening with friends. There will come a time when he will not want to snuggle under the same blanket as me.There will come a time when he won’t have the time to sit and talk for over an hour.
Until then, I’m going to keep opening books and listening to him read and talk, talk and read. And I’m ordering this tonight. Maybe if we keep opening books together he’ll keep talking to me.
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