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01/14/2010

Patience my Young Padawan

IMG_8679 My Kindergartner can’t read yet and it bugs me. Well, actually it bugs me that fellow mother friends keep reminding me that their young children can read and the tiny little comparison fairy crawls out of the bad spot in my heart and I get all cross at the world. I get all prickly and annoyed at the thought of someone thinking my sweet boy is not brilliant.

 Finnian is in half-day kindergarten. I drop him at 8:10 and pick him up at 11:05. This is not a long day when you account for the circle time, artistic ventures, breakdowns, and bathroom breaks. I barely have enough time to swig Starbucks and play trains with my toddler before it is time to go and fetch him. I don’t know how the teacher finds the time to teach them to read. She is a fabulous teacher and my son is in love with her, but it seems like a short amount of time to build these bridges of synapses and connections. It seems like a lot of pressure on one woman. It gives me anxiety just thinking about being in charge of the minds of tiny scary people.

I used to work in education and I am well aware that not every kindergartner will read by the end of the year, that some will still be emergent readers- so why does it bug me so much? I start to wonder if I have failed him by providing a very play based life at home as I was not academic and ABC mama at all. I start to wonder if I should have bought him more workbooks and smart baby paraphernalia. I think about how busy I am with my small business and perhaps I should not have stopped at two books at bedtime.I should have read more. I should have been….NO! I have to stop this.

Because I know my son is smart.

I know it. He’s has a gorgeous mind and I cannot wait to see what he uses it for in the future. I just want him to be able to read the Pokemon cards at the playground too. I just want him to find the thrill in the cracking of a book spine. I want him to fall weak in the knees at the entrance of Borders Books. I want him to read now. I want him to be excited about reading because it was really my first love. My childhood foundation was built on the small square brown library card I treasured. I would finger it in my pocket all day in school. I found myself in the library far more than in trouble for the majority of my elementary education.  I found the world in books. I lived in a very rural part of Ohio and all around me was woods. I read my way out of those woods year after year.  It was reading that sparked my creativity and has made me the woman I am today. (Well some good parents and teachers too)

 So, it comes down to being about me more than judgment or Finn’s peers or what society thinks.

It comes down to me accepting that my child is his own person.

My child is on his own journey in education.

He is not Amy.

He is not mine to control.

I cannot control when he reads.

I cannot control how he learns.

This is a lesson.

I can control the environment he lives in and I have made it one with books and learning and play and the library. I know that I have done a good job as a mom and I am pretty sure that my friends are just proud of their own kids and not judging mine. And I know that one day sooner than later Finnian will find those sounds and see them on the page and tie them together in perfect tiny bows and he will read.

I know this.

He will open his mouth and the words will fall out and his life will change.

I know this.

I just need to practice.

I am sounding it out now.

P- A- T -I- E -N -C- E

Original post to Ohio Moms Blog.

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