Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Gift

Lucas has been really big on reading for a while now. In his class, they have these little leveled reading books, once they read it with a teacher and read it on their own, they are allowed to bring them home to read to us. He's always very excited when he brings a new one home, especially if it's a new color, which means a higher level.

The other day his teacher said to me how well Lucas reads. She also said that he wants to read all the time and that sometimes she suggests other things for him to do besides reading.

On Sunday he pulled out the "Giving Tree" from his bookshelf, which he has never picked up before. I read it to him once. Then he said he wanted to read it to me.

By bed time, he had read about 3/4 of the book. I was totally blown away:

1) He had the stamina to plow through it, sometimes letter by letter. The first few pages just have one or two lines each, but then there are big chunks of text. He worked his way through every word. I could tell sometimes he was about to get frustrated, and I would tell him that we could take a break, but that seemed to just strengthen his resolve to get through it.

2) If a sentence started with a question word, like "Can you help me?" He knew to make it sound like a question, with the last word higher than the rest.

3) His ability to correctly guess at some of the words, like "would", using the context of the sentence.

And then there was his "analysis" of the story. He felt sad for the tree when the boy was taking the apples and then cutting it down. I asked him how it made the tree feel, to be able to give those things to the boy. "I guess it made the tree happy, but it's still a little bit sad."

Some say "The Giving Tree" demonstrates the relationship between mother and child. How as parents, we give and give to our kids, which makes us happy. And we don't expect anything in return. I discussed this with Lucas, and he said, "But mommy, I make you notes all the time. And remember the other day I gave you one of my crackers..."

I agreed with him that he is a giving boy. I also told him that listening to him read this book was one of the best gifts ever.

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