There and Back Again
About a year ago, I hit on the idea of reading The Hobbit to the kids. We do a lot of storytelling and reading, but we hadn’t had a Big Reading Project and I thought it would be fun.
It didn’t work out so well. At first, there were attention issues, as in “where are all the pictures?” Then, as we worked past that, there were fear issues. Parts of the book are quite scary, and reading (or listening) to a story can be pretty impactful.
Last night, after taking a couple months off, I suggested it again. The kids reacted enthusastically. Absence makes the hearts grow fonder, I suppose.
As I sat down on the couch to read, my oldest cuddled up against my shoulder to read along with me. My youngest joined us, but after five minutes or so, he started getting antsy.
“If you want to do something else,” I said. “That’s okay.”
He thought about that in his serious-faced way, and then asked “how about if I work on my Legos and listen?”
While he played, I continued reading with his brother. In the story, Bilbo and the dwarves made their escape from an underground fortress. We came to the end of the chapter and I closed the book.
“Wait!” my youngest shouted. “What happened? Did they get away?”
My oldest and I looked at each other and smiled.
“Where are they?” my youngest asked again.
“Okay,” I relented, and summed up the action.
He listened raptly, his Legos forgotten, and then launched into a bunch of questions.
I think we’ll be coming back to the Hobbit again tonight, and I’m willing to bet that the little guy listens a little more carefully this time.