Thursday, February 26, 2009

We Have Reading!!

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that the reading bug has finally bitten Charlie!

Something you may not know about me: I am a wannabe author, a full time writer, a dreamer, a nut. But the good news is that my obsession puts me in touch with tons of awesome authors and sometimes I get to read their stuff before the average book-store going, library book borrowing person gets to read them. 

And because of that privilege I've been able to read some books I might not otherwise have known about or had the opportunity to read.

And because I get to read these books, they are in my home, laying around, just waiting for the bored hands of a child to pick up and thumb through.

Such was the case with Xander who was growing bored of our nightly reading routine and asked for something--anything--to read. Not having a whole library of young reader stuff to draw from, I threw him a copy of James Dashners' A Door In The Woods, and said, "Here, try this."

Whaddya know, he loved it. And that one book became the rolling stone that has gathered up bunches and bunches of moss, namely books by the dozens. Xander is a prolific reader, reading faster than me, and loving every minute of it.

But that still left Charlie--bookless, and reading-desire-less.

That is, until this week.

It all started when last week, an author friend of mine, Rebecca Shelley, dropped off her latest book The Brass Dragon Codex for me to read and review.

I barely had it a day when Xan, hungry once more for something new to read, stole it from me. He loved it (which is saying something because now that he's become a reading guru, he's rather careful about throwing around the love word). 

Then I got the book back and I loved it too. I thought--just thought, mind you--that Charlie might like it too. If he would give it a chance.

I casually tossed it on the steps and said "I put The Brass Dragon Codex on the stairs in case you want to read it. I think you might really like it."

To my great surprise, he took it up with him when he went to bed that night.

To my even greater surprise, he actually read it.

And--this is where I had to be scraped off the floor with a sharp-edged spatula--to my great shock and joy, he loved it.

That first night he read four chapters. That's four more chapters than he's ever read before. Oh, he's been toying with reading for the past four months or so, but hasn't really delved into any books before now. He only liked books with pictures, only liked books with not a lot of words, only liked books about war.

The Brass Dragon Codex doesn't have any pictures, has some fighting scenes, but nothing about the Revolutionary War or Civil War, and is much bigger than a Magic Treehouse book.

And he's not faking it either. (Which I had considered.)

Each day he comes down in the morning to tell me what new chapter he's on and what's happening in the book.

It. Is. So. Freakin'. Awesome. 

I. Am. A. Happy. Happy. Mom.

If you want to read my review on The Brass Dragon Codex, just click here. You can buy it from that link too. But that wasn't really my purpose today. Today was just to smile big in your face and shout "Hurray for reading!!"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Let's Get Real

Okay, so somehow I've given the impression that I know what I'm doing or that things are going spankingly awesome here in my house.

Uhh. No.


In fact, I've been having a very bad week and thought, in the interest of keepin' it real, you ought to know.

Here are the problems I'm having in our transition to K12:
  • I don't have any control over what my kids do and it's driving me crazy.
  • I'm feeling resentful and maybe even a little angry about their choices.
  • Being out of control is making me feel depressed. :(
  • I feel like Love and Logic is a little passive-aggressive. I mean, why not just tell my boys what I want from them, or expect from them? The whole "Bummer. Well, feel free to join us for dinner when you're done your school work." feels so . . . contrived.
This is not to say that I am throwing in the towel. Just that it's hard. Darn hard. And, like I said, I'm feeling kind of depressed about it all. 

I am raising men here. I know that. And I don't want them to grow up to be men that need to be nagged by their mommies--oops, I mean, wives. So for that purpose, I will keep trying to make Love and Logic part of my life. But man, it's h-a-r-d.

So there you have it. The real deal. It ain't so pretty is it?