Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Reading to Cava
While we were riding in the car to the store, it came out that I used to read to Benjamin when he was little. Cava wanted to know more, so I told him about how I would read one to two chapters of a book each night to Benjamin before he went to sleep.
"You read for me?" he asked.
"I'd love to," I replied because I have deeply missed reading to Benjamin.
When I got home, I began to ponder which book should I begin with? Peter Pan? Stuart Little? Both are two books I loved as a kid, but worried that Cava, who loved the movies, wouldn't like the fact that neither of these were like the movies adapted from them (the former being much better than the latter, as I couldn't stand the film version of Stuart Little).
As I was scanning our bookshelves, I saw the book that I knew I wanted to begin my readings to Cava with: Charlotte's Web. This was one of my favorite books as a child and, knowing how much Cava loves animals, knew that he would respond to Fern's love for Wilbur. I also wondered if he would indentify with Wilbur, being small himself.
So I sat down on Cava's bed, while he worked on his latest puzzle, and I began to read. When I'd finished the first chapter and stopped. Was he even listening to me? The answer came with, "Please read some more."
And I did.
I read the second chapter. By the end of it, when Fern has to sell Wilbur to her Uncle Homer, Cava was saddened that she had to do this and he wanted to know what would happen next. When I asked him what he thought would happen next, he replied, "How do I know? I never read this book before." He still has a hard time imagining. I think that's one of the reasons he loves puzzles so much is that he has a picture to go by when he's putting it together.
"We'll find out tomorrow," I told him and put the book back on the shelf.
"I don't know why I don't know this book," he said, puzzled.
"You like it?"
"I love this book. It's good. Thank you, Papa, for reading it to me."
I look forward to returning to this beloved book with him and seeing how he responds to this beautiful and moving story. I know that when I was young, I cried over the death of Charlotte, which is ironic since I can't stand spiders now. But it also provided an opportunity for my Mom to talk with me about death. Unlike the Disney films I'd grown up on, in this story, Charlotte is dead and, unlike characters like Baloo, she remained so. That's the great thing about literature: it not only opens up the reader's eyes to the world around them, but it can also open their hearts. I hope this book does the same for Cava.