I got home from work tonight to find Katie sitting in my rocking chair reading a book. That's not such a big deal. We don't subscribe to cable. We have no modern video game consoles. What else is she going to do? She has no siblings to interrupt her solitude. Her parents both read for pleasure. What do you expect? As Bill Hicks says, "Looks like we got ourselves a reader."
What impressed me so much tonight was not that she was reading, but the length of the book she chose. We find her picture books strewn about our entire house from Katie's tornadic love of reading. I've found her reading this Lego Ninjago comic book on her own recently. It's pretty long. But this is the first time I've caught her with a chapter book, reading solo.
"What'cha reading, Sweetie?" I asked as I hung up my bag.
"A Junie B. Jones book," she answered, looking up and marking her place with an empty peanut M&M fun size candy wrapper. "You wanna read the rest to me?"
She hopped out of the chair so I could sit down, then she climbed into my lap. I opened the book at the M&M bookmark.
"You're on page 44?!"
"Yes!" Katie beamed.
"Did Daddy read this to you or have you been reading it yourself?" I asked.
"I've been reading it to myself," she said in an utterly too-cool sounding voice, as if it were no big deal.
"Since you got home from school?"
"Yeah. Uh, no. I started reading it last night. Daddy gave me the bookmark."
"Oh, so that's what you guys do while I'm at work at the library? You read books without me?!"
I said it in an accusing, possessive tone, but she smiled so I knew she got the joke.
She leaned her head on my shoulder and threw her arms around me. Throwing her old mama dog a bone, Katie let me read the rest of the book to her even though she no longer needs me to.