I Don’t Want to Read That Book

I mentioned a few months ago on my personal Facebook page that I was ready to introduce Aiden to the first book in Andrew Peterson‘s Wingfeather Saga, entitled On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.  As it is in my top three book series of all time (really, my top two), I had anxiously waited years for this read-aloud experience and was so excited when it became apparent to me that he was ready.  What I had not anticipated was his reaction to what I felt was an epic milestone:

Image result for on the edge of the dark sea of darkness

”I don’t want to read that book,” he remarked dismissively.
“What??  Why not?!?” I asked, perplexed.
He offered up his most well-thought-out 10-year-old answer: “I just don’t.”

After several days of letting the book linger conspicuously on the coffee table, I tried again.

“I think you’ll really love this book, Aiden.”
“No.”
“Okay son, you HAVE to give me a reason.”
“I just don’t want to read about a dark sea of darkness.  It sounds scary.”
“Ahhhh, well, why didn’t you say so?!  You see, it’s not really about the Dark Sea.  It’s about the incredible adventure that happens on the EDGE of the dark sea.  Actually, I think it’s a pretty clever and funny title. How about you let me read you the first two chapters, and if you don’t like it after that, we’ll put it away for a while.”
{Deep sigh} “Fine.”

After the first two chapters, he had no choice but to maintain his skepticism.  He had worked so hard to build up his disdain born out of complete and total ignorance that he couldn’t drop the act too soon.  He was like Fred Savage’s character in The Princess Bride: “I guess you can read another chapter. If you want to.” Insert eye roll.

But just as I suspected, eye rolls quickly turned to eyes entranced.  The mouth that had been complaining just days before turned into the mouth gaping open, listening in complete silence.  It wasn’t long until both he and his little sister, (who wasn’t about to miss out on something that her mama had played up so dramatically), were absolutely enraptured by the story of the three Igiby children and the unusual village in which they lived.  When they weren’t rolling on the floor with laughter they were sitting close to me on the couch, every muscle in their bodies tense with anxious anticipation of what would happen next. And how I wish I could have captured the looks on their faces whenever Peet the Sock Man would make his entrance!  It was better than Christmas morning.

The other day the same boy who just weeks ago refused to like this book said to me, “Hey Mama, I know what we should do this summer.  We should take turns between reading the rest of The Wingfeather Saga and the rest of The Chronicles of Narnia” (of which we’re currently reading book four.  In the order in which they were written. The way God intended them to be read). The fact that my 10-year-old boy wants to spend his summer hanging out with his mom, reading together her two very favorite book series…well…could it make me any happier?  

I’ll give you a hint.  No.

I don’t know how many more years I have left of my son delighting in spending time with me during the summer months.  In six years he’ll be driving, and I’m wise enough now to know that six kid years equates to about ten minutes in parent years.  I have made this read-aloud time such a priority in our family life, and to see it reaping a harvest of reward is an incredible joy for me, and I just had to share it with someone.  

Parents who read aloud to your children every day, don’t stop when they are old enough to read for themselves.  Take the journey to Aerwiar and Narnia and Middle Earth with them. Share in the tragedy and triumph of Meg Murry, Mary Lenox, Frodo Baggins, and Charlie Bucket.  It will pay off dividends, both academically and relationally. I promise. Just be sure to steer clear of toothy cows along the way.

One thought on “I Don’t Want to Read That Book

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