16 Oct Slice of Life: Readers Interrupt Dinner Parties to Get The Book They Want! #SOL18
I see him poke his head out from behind my garage. I shift my focus back to the conversation around my dinner table. Then once again my attention is drawn to my yard. Now he is in my hammock … tapping a stick on the tree beside him to keep the beat as it swings from side to side. Our eyes meet. He signals me, asking, “Can I come talk with you?” I signal back as if to say, “Not now, I have dinner guests.” His expression says it all.
I excuse myself from the table and try to telepathically send him a message to meet me at the front door. I go inside and make my way across the house. I am not surprised to see he is already waiting for me.
Do you have the new Dog Man book? I really want to read it.
Yes, I do. Listen, I have people here for dinner. I will get it tomorrow and bring it over to you. Ok?
Once again, his face says it all.
Give me a minute.
I circle back to check on my guests and then make my way down to the basement. I think back through my week to figure out where I have Dog Man Lord of the Fleas. I check two bags and then remember I recently used it for a post. I make my way back upstairs to my office. I sort through the piles of books I have scattered throughout the room. Found it! I hand him the book and he skips down my front steps. As I head back to my dinner party, I hear his voice.
It’s not signed? I told my friends it would be signed. You usually get him to sign it.
Now my face says it all and he continues on his way.
I think back to the number of times he told me he hated reading. I remember the tears shed as he shared that he didn’t feel like a reader. The hours he spent after school, on weekends and over the summer trying to crack the code of literacy. Now he can’t wait a day to get his hands on the book he wants to read. He reminds me that if we build it – a life of literacy, a love of reading, a desire for books – they will come. They will come, interrupt, advocate and have expectations. It is not enough to teach a child to read. We must also inspire them to read and to live a readerly life.
I realize I am still staring out my front door, filled with admiration and joy. There is nothing better than sharing the love of reading with another person – especially when that person is a small someone. What other readers would interrupt a dinner party to get a book? Well, it was Dog Man…