Let me tell you a beautiful story about one of my boys.
I’ve often said that I’m certain John is reading. He knows his colors, he knows his animals, he knows the alphabet. How much is memorization, how much is actual reading? With a twin who started reading at two, aren’t the odds in his favor?
When the phone rang last week, the school’s phone number flashing on the caller id, I sighed. Is he sick? Did he fall? What did I forget to pack today? Instead John’s teacher’s voice was breathless. “I had to call,” she said, “I am too excited.”
You know how sometimes if you’re really still, you swear you can hear your heart beat in your chest but then realize you’ve stopped breathing?
“I know we’ve talked about whether John can read or not — he does know a lot of sight words,” she said, pausing. “I just gave him a book that he had never seen before and I said ‘Read book?’ Kal, he read that whole book to me.”
Oh. My. Boy. I am both shocked and nonplussed. I knew it all along, I think. Lately, though, he is fascinated with books in a new way. I catch him flipping pages and muttering words. He sometimes prefers books to his itouch. He even prefers them to lining up blocks on the counter these days. Wow, he is growing up, I think.
He favors books from the Baby Einstein library: My Favorite Colors, Numbers, Poetry. He was enthralled with Baby Van Gogh and that has translated to being enthralled with the real Van Gogh — an obsession going on two years. He has carried around pictures of Starry Starry Night for some time, but now he wants to read books about him and now studies his less famous works: Sunflowers, Boats on the Beach, Irises. He asks me to draw them on index cards then demands tape to hang them on the wall. He jumps in front of them, happy.