I’ve never been a big fan of 11 year old kids reading the f-bomb. I don’t know, I guess I’m weird like that.
And so you can only imagine my horror 18 months ago when my orange-haired, freckle faced, youngest OS announces one day that the book his daddy got him had that lovely word printed ON THE VERY FIRST PAGE! I nearly fell out of my chair.
It was a basketball book entitled Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich and the reason the hubs bought it for our OS is because Isaac loves basketball. Our OS needed to work on his reading and boy, was I glad our OS said something about the curse word! Faced with a dilemma, do I throw the book in the trash or take it back to Borders, I took immediate action. I chose to do neither but I did do something with that book I never expected.
I read it out loud to my son. The G-rated, completely edited and censored version, of course.
And guess what?
I loved every minute of it. We finished the book on Friday. 323 pages, 18 months, we did it!
If you know me at all, you know I am not a sports person. Much to my OS’s chagrin, I still can’t remember the positions they play in their respective sports. It drives them nuts! And for the last year and a half, Ike and I have been reading a book about the great basketball legend, Pete Maravich.
When we finished I seriously wanted to cry. It was an accomplishment and a blessing. We didn’t merely read the book; we took it deeper. We talked extensively about the book. Pistol Pete Maravich was a complex man with a difficult life. He had many excesses and demons, he had a complicated childhood ~ there were many dimensions to this man. This book touched both of our hearts.
And we did even more than that. We did A LOT of vocabulary. Always by our side was the trusty Webster’s. At times, my OS loathed that dictionary with a passion but together we learned words such as:
mollify, triumvirate, augur, majordomo, chaw, vestigial, bonanza, vituperative, excoriate, progency, ignominy, assiduous, junto, bifurcated ~ nearly 200 words my OS searched. It turns out I don’t think Ike could have read this book without me. It was an advanced read for both of us but so worth it.
We learned so much ~ about Pete Maravich (he came to know Jesus and died of a heart condition while playing basketball with Dr. James Dobson) and we learned things about each other too. Sometimes, while I read to Ike, he would draw and despite countless emotional outbursts “I hate this stupid book!” “I don’t want to read!” (read this in your loudest, most emotional 12 year old boy voice!), we didn’t give up. The time we had with each other makes me feel that this “fait accompli” has blessed us with an “inexorable” experience which has left me feeling “ebullient” inside. How’s that for using my new words?
I must share with you another book we read together which was delightful which was very different than Pistol. I’ll do that soon, it’s just the best.
Any ideas as to what to read next are welcome. I’m really proud of us. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t read to older kids. You’re missing out on a treat, seize those special moments.
Thanks to a curiously placed cuss word, I got treasured time with my OS which beats sitting in front of the stupid box (TV) any day.
PS. Don’t tell Ike that I’m working on a comprehension test next. 😉 Spelling and grammar will count!
You are such an awesome mom. Wow.
What a cool experience to have shared.
Good job persevering through that book! I love reading aloud to my girls. We try to do it regularly – although we don't usually have a dictionary next to us!
Yay for you guys! What a great bonding opportunity for you and Ike … despite the periodic outbursts of teenage angst!! 🙂