Our third child, this boy that grabs my heart strings, his soft round cheeks, his full of wonder and love brown eyes and the smile...always that smile.
Strong and tender, so easy to love but not so easy to teach.
I would back off, give him space to wander outside, climb those trees, make concoctions but if I got the books out he'd resist, roll the eyes mumble something like ' not another story' or the worst, the one that hit deep ' i hate books'.
I would find myself crying out to God ' help me with this boy, how do I instill a love of books in this boy who is so stubborn, resistant?'
Always I'd come back to this: acceptance, patience and now and again slipping in a book about rocks or reptiles. Slowly, ever so slowly and gently suggesting this one over here on snakes or that one on mammals.
The questions come frequently: Am I not doing the right things? Should I be firmer? Have I spent too much time on the older children and not enough time reading with Zach? Am I not seeing something?
And then always I come back to seeing this boy with the sparkle in his eye and wonder in his heart.The love on his lips and I see him whole and perfect just as he is in this moment right where he is meant to be. I pray as I let go of my agenda for this moment that one day he would have a love for books perhaps not as I do but in his own way.
This year as the very rhythms of our days have changed dramatically and this boy, this one who could never sit at the table for me, this boy who resisted my every effort...well- he blossoms before my eyes!
He reads! Yes, yes he reads. Is it wrong to be so excited? I try not to make too much of it but inwardly I'm all shouts and yippees. It's not just the reading, it's his attitude; it's flipped to be motivated, excited and proud. He SO wants to learn. What could be better than that- children who want to learn and know they can!
I do wonder though; is it the teacher? Does she have a knack with him, a way with him that I didn't? Or is it timing? The seeds had been planted and waiting for the right season to flourish? Perhaps a mix of not being threatened by two older, louder seem-to-be-able-to-do-all siblings; maybe being amongst kids who are all at different stages and it's acceptable and normal. ( Zach is in a class of Kindergarten, year 1 and 2).