When Mother reads aloud, the past
Seems real as every day;
I hear the tramp of armies vast,
I see the spears and lances cast,
I join the trilling fray;
Brave knights and ladies fair and proud
I meet when Mother reads aloud.
When Mother reads aloud, far lands
Seem very near and true;
I cross the desert's gleaming sands,
Or hunt the jungle's prowling bands,
Or sail the ocean blue.
Far heights, whose peaks the cold mists shroud,
I scale, when Mother reads aloud.
When I first read this poem, a face popped into my mind. I enjoy reading to my children, and they enjoy it too. But one of my children seems to engage in a way the others do not.
Perhaps it's because he's the youngest, and has been listening to me read for several hours a day since he was one-year-old, when I made him sit on my lap while I read to his older siblings. There was no way I was going to use my precious nap time for school!
Perhaps it's because he has a vivid imagination. Or perhaps because he's, well, himself.
Isaac, my seven-year-old, constantly amazes me with the connections he makes, the vocabulary he uses, and the context he has for life.
What other five-year-old would recruit his friends to play "the North and the South," complete with flags for both sides (fairly accurately drawn too)? What other seven-year-old would say, "That news distresses me!" at the dinner table? What other seven-year-old, when asking for a short bedtime story, pulls out the Usborne Book of World History so I can reread two pages of history to him?
In a world this vast, I'm sure there are others. But let me share with you why I think my little boy is unique.
His older brother and sister are studying world history this year, and one morning, their Usborne Encyclopedia of World History was sitting on the coffee table after school.
Isaac spotted it. "Oh, this is so cool!" he said, and started looking through it. Pretty soon, I hear him yelling, "MOM! Come here! You gotta see this!"
I go into the living room, and he points to the picture at the right.
"Isn't this neat, Mom? I was just looking at this page about the first cities, and they have a pyramid in it! One that reminds me of the ancient Egyptians and the Aztecs! Isn't that neat?"
I stammered something intelligible in reply. "That is neat. Archeologists call it a ziggurat, and that's a picture of Ur, Abraham's home town."
(Just in case you think I'm smart, I had just read those pages to his siblings in school a few moments before.)
One of my friends, after hearing this story, told me, "You have a treasure!" I agree - each of my children is a treasure. And I having a feeling that trying to teach Isaac is going to be like trying to stay ahead of an avalanche.
But I think I'm up for the challenge.