I had a pretty cool experience last night while talking to Collin. On average, I talk to the boys 4-5 nights a week for about an hour each night. Usually, Collin wants to play games that we make up, and most of those games are based on whatever video game he’s into. Sometimes, he wants to talk to me “like adults,” meaning he wants to tell me all about his job, wife, and kids. Currently, he’s an illustrator, an explorer, an inventor, and a construction worker; he’s also been married for twenty years and has two or three kids, depending on the day. Finn sometimes wants to talk, but mostly, he just enjoys having me sing to him.
Recently, Collin has begun reading to me from a book he got about the most dangerous animals in the world. He gets very serious and has already developed a reading voice that sounds like a museum tour guide. He needs a little help on a few words, but for the most part, he’s becoming a pretty good reader. I probably don’t need to mention how proud that makes me. For the last four years, I’ve worried about him watching too much TV and playing too many video games, but now that he’s discovered reading for fun, he seems to be taking to it much like I did at that age.
Last night, Finn had already fallen asleep, so Collin and I started out playing a couple of games. Then, he asked if he could read to me from a new book he had just gotten, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. If you know anything about me, you probably know that’s the book that got me into fantasy and writing, so it’s pretty special to me to begin with. He had gotten to page 47 on his own and read aloud to me up to page 63. For nearly a full hour, I just sat and listened to him, helping him with a few words but mostly just listening to my oldest son read to me one of my favorite books. It was one of those ineffable moments parents get to share with their children that make all the difficulties worth it. All I can say is that I’ll hold onto that memory for as long as I can.