Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Easy Peasy

Katie sat at the table, coloring a shamrock on her March reading log.  The instructions from school say to color a shamrock for every ten minutes spent reading outside school.  At the beginning of the school year it was apples.  Pumpkins in October.  Now shamrocks in March.  At the beginning of the year Katie'd just scribble over whatever picture, not putting much effort into it.  I could tell she thought it was dumb to keep track of how much she read.  You don't keep track of how much you jump or skip or laugh or...breathe.

Katie never needed an incentive to read.  Reading together has long been one of our favorite activities, and now that she can read books to herself I catch her all the time off in some corner of the house reading with no push from either Will or me.  Well, it's probably a natural push, having a librarian for a mother.  But Will now reads just as much as I do, so he's influencing her habits too.

Katie puts more effort into coloring her reading log now.  She sits at the table with her tongue sticking out of her mouth, in full concentration, spending time making it look neat.

She pulled her tongue inside her mouth and looked up at me.  "Did you know I'm reading at a second grade level?"

She didn't wait for me to respond before she went back to coloring.  Tongue out again.

"Oh yeah?  Who told you that?" I asked.  

"My teacher.  She said she was impressed," Katie looked up briefly and smiled, then went back to work on her shamrock.

"Well I'm impressed too.  Why do you think you're such a good reader?" I asked.

Katie didn't look up.  "Because I work so hard at it."

"That's true.  You do work hard.  I'm proud of you.  You work hard at reading, you work hard at your spelling words, at your math homework, at your terrapin project.  All that stuff."  I waved my hand in the direction of her back pack. 

Katie looked up and smiled.  She rested her elbow on the table and started lightly whacking her forehead with a crayon.  As if she had summoned some sage, she said, "You know, Mom, the only thing that I don't work very hard at is love."

"Why's that?" I asked.

"Because when you are born you already know about love.  It's just hugging and kissing and all that stuff.  It's easy.  Easy peasy."

I threw my arms around her.  She's right.  Easy peasy.