I am reading To Kill A Mockingbird to my older kids. Originally, I gave it to my oldest to read on his own, but he asked me if I would read it with him, aloud. We started off just the two of us, but have been joined by the next oldest two, who can't stand anyone doing something that does not involve them.
However, my second oldest is clearly not engaged. His two comments during tonight's reading:
1. "Boo is a stupid name."
2. "Mom! This big speck of dust is attracted to my shirt!"
Apparently he was not so much listening to and enthralled by the story as he was playing with floating dust motes and watching them land on his shirt.
I am a reasonable woman. But if he fails to appreciate and adore To Kill a Mockingbird, I may have to put a bag over my head and walk the earth in the depths of failure and despair.
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I am beginning to think that I need to give my children a list, a list of things and people they must love if they do not want to be disowned by me. Right now, I know that The Beatles and To Kill a Mockingbird are on the list. Dewars peanut butter chews are too. Mother Theresa. Someday, Guinness will be. I'm sure there are at least a few other thing that belong there too.
So do I make it an all or nothing list? Or can they reach a certain percentage and safely remain Good Standing Offspring? I'm considering.
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On the other hand, another member of my audience is so enthralled by the story that he cannot sleep; we just finished the chapter where Jem goes back to the Radley place to retrieve his pants, and finds them folded and sewn up, waiting for him. My son was riveted, petrified, listening to that chapter. Now, at 12:23am, he can't sleep, as every shadow crossing his wall, every wind-stirred branch from the lemon tree at his window, is Boo Radley come to get him.
Now that's the way to read a story!
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