Monday, November 15, 2004

The Reader

We have this ranch. Its located around 100 miles south and west of San Antonio, at the intersection of highways 97 and 72. There is much that could be said about this land (1200 acres, give or take), but all that is necessary right now is that it takes about 3 hours to get there from our home north of Austin, and we needed to get down there and take a look around.

One problem we've had in past in making the trip is that three hours is a long time for a little boy to sit still. I cannot complain (much) about Jake's ability to put up with this journey. He has done about as well as a guy his age could be expected to, but there were times when the patience of his mom and dad wore mighty thin.

But not this time. You see, at some point over the course of the summer and fall he has become a Reader. Not just able to read, but a Reader. There's an important distinction here. An ordinary reader is capable of reading, perhaps even at a very high level. But a Reader wants to. And not just Dick and Jane either. I think he first started reading independently with Zia. No, I'm not kidding.

We've been reading the Harry Potter books lately. He's seen all the movies, and was sort of agitating to read the next book. I convinced him to start at the beginning, and though we started by having Trish and I do all the reading, he has gradually taken to doing a lot of it on his own, briefly before we finally make him turn out the lights, at odd moments at the house, and on our way to run various errands.

This past Saturday, for three hours on the way down, and another three hours on the way back, he read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Six hours of reading. I'm not sure if I should be proud or scared.


Dewdrop said...

I think you should err on the side (?) of pride!! Be proud of what a bright little boy you both have and proud that he is a Reader, as you put it.
My 7 year old daughter is also a Reader - also a Puzzler and Maths-er (WHAT?). She often sits up in bed for at least an hour sometimes two, before going to sleep, doing maths, writing stories/letters, reading and doing other puzzles from books she has. I guess it's all food for the brain - and I'm glad that she enjoys doing it. I certainly have never pushed her to do any of that stuff. A hunger for knowledge and stimulation is, in my opinion generally a good thing (generally meaning as long as it's not obsessive!??).

Anonymous said...

Sounds like me when I was little. He's probably going to be really smart when he grows up.

On the other hand, I kinda shunned social activity during my formative years, and it turned me into a huge nerd in junior high and high school. I think you have to have balance.

Anonymous said...

Oh - that was me (Dave Fried)

Justa Dad said...

You’ve got to be proud of this kid. Keep him reading!

I enjoy the Harry Potter series and can’t wait to share it with my daughters when they get a little older. They already love the movies. I had been thinking about giving them (and myself) a PS2 for Christmas this year, but they are happy just to spend hours reading, and writing stories together. I would hate to have that replaced with staring blankly at a game screen.

Dewdrop said...

We have a PS2 and it doesn't replace reading - it's just a case of limiting time on the thing, I think. PS2 and games can be really good fun. The point I'm trying to make is all things in moderation.