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Thursday, December 15, 2011

You Only Gain When You Read to Your Kids

I picked up the paper waiting in the printer; a poem was printed on it and I read the title: “The Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost. Curiosity and excitement rising within I called out, “Whose poem is this?”

My 14 year-old son replied, “Mine.”

When he came to claim it, I asked him, “Is that for school?”

“Yup,” he replied “we’re doing Poetry Out Loud in class. I have to memorize and perform it.”

Forcing myself to play it cool, I responded with, “Cool!”

I then watched him, through the night, work on memorizing that poem. His teacher had made an audio file of herself performing it and he went everywhere connected to his Ipod headphones; mumbling to himself.

When we were driving home from being out that night he asked the family, “Hey, could we be quiet in the car so I can concentrate on this?” What a refreshing change!

Before bed, he was in his room mumbling away again. I came in talking to him and he jumped up, “Mooooom!! Now I have to start over again!” He was recording himself, working on his performance.

A little later we collided as he came out of his room. “Mom!” he said, “I’ve got it! Can I do it for you?”

“Sure, but come in our room, please.” I answered.

As we headed into our room he was falling all over himself telling me how he could try out for regional’s and if he made that maybe eventually get to state or nationals in the Poetry Out Loud tournaments and maybe win $20,000.00. I hadn’t seen him this excited in a long time.

He calmed himself down and proceeded to perform his piece for his dad and me.

He had done it. In one night he had memorized the poem and was already trying to pause and bring inflections and tone into the way he said it. I was so excited; I was having a hard time remaining calm – then he did something that just about blew my coolness cover.

After we applauded his performance I went right over to my desk and picked up my book of Robert Frost poems. “Look, Hon,” I invited.

He took the book and said – in the way only teenagers can that I was so not getting it– “I know Mom! You read it to me when I was little and I remembered liking it so I asked to perform it.”

Really.

My work is done.

I have nothing more to say, except that my life is complete and your time is never wasted when you read to your kids.

1 Comments:

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Grandma and Grandpa Benson said...

I can hardly breathe! "Grandma" B

 

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