Photo Inspiration: Books & Little Boys

When I was pregnant with my boys I wanted what all mommies and daddies want: a healthy, happy baby.  Yet, if I'm being honest, I also wanted those babies to be just a little bit like me.  I wanted them to share my interests and enjoy the things I enjoy.  I wanted them to be readers.  I wanted them to love being read to and, when the time came, to find pleasure in reading for themselves.

I wanted little readers, so I read to them.

Well, I tried to read to them.

Little boys can be difficult, especially hyperactive little boys like mine were.

I remember trying to make reading at bedtime a routine.  KC was never the best listener.  Even when he was supposed to be winding down and relaxing, fresh from a bath and snug in his jammies, he was too busy to listen.  In between pages or even paragraphs, I remember tugging his monster trucks out of his hands and telling him to be still.

KC never did still very well.

He was busy.  Oh, so busy.

Trying to read to KC - Cleveland Ave, Flint, MI
I think this picture pretty much embodies our nightly routine.  Here I am, attempting to read to KC, and he's completely inattentive to the book in my hand.  No fascination with the pictures or words.  No begging me for another book.  Instead, when I'd finally close the book and make to the leave the room, I'd get requests for more water or yet another visit to the potty.

I'd usually make it through these small picture books, exasperated but satisfied that I'd read to my child.

Fast forward to Gage's arrival.

Another baby.  Another chance to nurture a reader into being.

I even had some unexpected help!

KC reading Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Suess to Gage.  Cleveland Ave, Flint, MI.
This picture melts my heart.
This gave me hope.  Perhaps KC had been paying attention!  He certainly knew that books were used as a means of entertainment where babies were concerned.  Never mind the book being upside and backwards.  He knew enough of the story to be able to recite a few passages here and there, mostly the "I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.  I do not like green eggs and ham!"

You would think this would be a turning point, that my non-readers became readers.  I mean, look, here is proof positive that they have some affection for books.

Well, friends, that was simply not the case.

I remember trying to read Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians to the boys when Gage was perhaps five or six, making KC eight or nine.  We were in Gage's bedroom in the new house.  The boys had been listening for maybe - maybe - five minutes when all of a sudden they were busy pushing their monster trucks around the room.  I told them to stop.  They paused.  I read.  They started vroom-vrooming again.  After this happened a couple of times, I lost my patience and stopped reading.

That was the last book I remember trying to read to my boys.

I wish I wouldn't have gotten so aggravated and impatient.  I wish I would have tried again the next night or the night after that.

Because neither of my boys are readers, not like their mom is, and I wonder if I simply gave up too soon.

Sure, they'll read the occasional graphic novel or Manga, but rare is the novel that captures their attention.  In fact, Gage doesn't even read the novels his English teachers assign; he reads a chapter two in the beginning, a bit from the middle, and maybe the last chapter.  KC, on the other hand, will read a novel if it appeals, but few do.

I still try, though.  Every Christmas they get a book from mom.

Gage's 2017 Christmas Present - Age 17

KC's 2017 Christmas Present - Age 19

Someday, they will be readers!