I must share with you my husband's literary history. My husband is easily one of the smartest people I know. He is an architect, turning blueprints into computer models, using his spatial and design talents. However, reading is his arch nemesis. He swears that the only book he's ever read cover to cover was Sideways Stories from Wayside School, and he tries to convince me each and every year that I must read it to my class. He goes on and on about the amount I read, my love for all things written, and my addiction to books. Never in a degrading fashion, but almost with a sense of wonderment.
Yet, this guy with arm muscles with the circumference of tree trunks, curls up in bed with our kids and reads aloud to them every night. He's read the whole Charlie and Lola series with Lauren, all of the DC Super Friends and Magic Tree House books with Eli, and he quite enjoys Junie B. Jones and the Pigeon series by Mo Willems. I have even caught him rockin' out to Pete the Cat when he thinks I'm not looking. (I have also overhead him singing it to the kids when he thinks I am in the other room). I'm not sure he'd admit all of this out loud in mixed company, but knowing him like I do, I find the irony and the beauty in his new reading life.
I read somewhere once that kids who had dads who served as literacy role models achieved at higher levels in school. Some expert somewhere could be serving up a bunch of hooey to parents with that statement, but I have to say that I see the difference having a "reading" dad makes. My son sees a man who will coach a soccer team, yell at the football game on TV, and read to him at night. This same dad balks at spending money on himself, but thinks nothing of opening his wallet to buy the next book in the Stink series for his son. My daughter sees a sucker who walks into the school book fair with an open wallet for the "____licious" books. Both kids would rather head out for some library time with their dad than go anywhere else. Their dad's a "reading dad," and I don't think they could be prouder.
Time to wrap up the post, as I hear little footsteps on the stairs. Time for me to say the goodnight prayers with the kids. Daddy just finished up books. I'm sure he'll asked me what I wrote about today. "Nothing much, honey. Nothing much."