Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Joys of Parenthood

One of the great (anticipated, but no less enjoyable for being so) joys of being a parent is listening to Son read. I know I have mentioned this before, but I love LOVE it when he reads Frog and Toad to me. Is it the froggy- and toady-ness of the characters? The subtle philosophical questions it evokes? Just as an example, last night Son asked, "Why is Frog called Frog, why isn't he called Toad?"
I know part of it is the familiar rhythm of simple sentences and declarative statements, such as "One morning Toad sat in bed."
Maybe my favorite part is the meta-narrative element. For example, in "Dragons and Giants," Frog and Toad decide to figure out if they are brave after they read a book about brave people. They go out for an adventure and get scared by a snake, an avalanche, and a hawk, and then run home and hide in the closet, but not before Frog and Toad assure each other that "I am happy to know a brave person like you."
They have very simple conversations like: "The people in this book are brave," said Toad. "I wonder if we are brave," said Frog.
Having Son read to me is the best thing ever. It makes me want to write in simple sentences and return to that time when I was just discovering the amazing world of reading. I love it when Son reads and laughs as he's reading, because he understands not only what's being said, but that it's funny. He loves the irony of Frog and Toad running away from the hawk screaming, "We are not afraid!"
I look forward to listening to him read to me at night for a long time.


Lisa B. said...

I will never ever forget hearing my oldest daughter--the one with two little girls of her own now--read Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now? from another room. It was fantastic and amazing and also, in a weird way, heartbreaking, to hear her piece together the letters into words of this story she loved. It is wonderful.

ErinAlice said...

I agree it is great. Especially when the do "voices" and read with such expression.I love it when S reads to E. So sweet! Reminds me of Dr. Write reading to me-usually Bread and Jam for Francis-another classic!!

Nik said...

It's an amazing thing I imagine--one day they don't read, and the next they do. What a cool thing. Perhaps now you can get him to start grading your students' papers!

Condiment said...

I don't know about you guys, but it really pained me when I heard they were doing a movie of "Where the Wild Things are. But then, get this, Spike Jones is directing and Dave Eggers (?!) is writing.

Here's a cool production still:

Scorpion's Tail said...

I can't agree more. It is truly amazing (and for us, it all just "kicked in" recently as in before we were just reading to get homework done. Now I get called to LISTEN to extra stuff!)

We should record them so that we save these sweet voices forever