Different Worlds

The world was hers for the reading.

– Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

I try to convey this to my children, but my boys are more concerned with the newest tech gadget than books.

As an avid reader, I’m flabbergasted, but then I have to consider the fact that my children’s world is substantially different than mine was when I was their age.

I was an only child and lived out of town. There was no internet. Cartoons on any day other than Saturday morning was a child’s hopeful dream. There were definitely no tablets, personal computers, or video games (at least, not until I was older). Televisions were big and bulky.

My idea of a summer day was hanging outside with friends, playing in the dirt, riding my bicycle, or climbing trees. When I wasn’t doing all that and whatever else we came up with, I was reading—all the time.

Now, there are fancy touch-screen phones (mini-computers, really), tablets (even when paying at the local coffee house), personal computers, video games (some with graphics so real you’d think they were a movie), computerized glasses (we’re delving into sci-fi books I read as a kid), and more.

Different worlds, to say the least.

I can’t change their world, but I can offer mine, regardless of how antiquated it may seem.

They see me read, and I read to them. I share my enthusiasm for going to the bookstore and the library. I challenge them to read a book quicker than me (they love to compete). I ask them to read to me, tell me about the book they are reading for school, and what they like to read.

For the last two summers we participated in the summer reading challenge through the library and started our own book club. We read together and discussed the books we were reading.

And now because of all this fabulous reading we’ve done, they don’t want to play video games anymore! Hurray! The miraculous has happened!!

Seriously? Could that be real?

No, I’m just kidding.

They have not given up their desire for tech, but, all in all, I have noticed they are more inclined to pick up a book and read, like last night when both of my boys were lounging and reading books.

Those moments may not be phenomenal or amazing to them but they are to me.


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