My child is a reader. Not surprised? Well, some are, particularly, upon their discovery that my child is a young, African American male.
Yes, the same brown-skinned little boy who loves playing basketball and baseball and who appears to know even more sports trivia than the loud mouths he enjoys watching on ESPN'S "Around the Horn" is also a voracious reader.
The boy's taste in literature changes with the season. At the moment his preference leans toward the fantasy and sci-fi genre. Just about every book he brings through the door either has some kind of dragon, monster or sullen faced (Gothic-looking) youngster on the cover.
Periodically, I'll flip through one of his books or ask a couple of questions about what he's reading just to make sure he's not reading up on explosive technology, world domination or anything that might suggest he's considering pulling a Lizzie Borden. But basically, I let him do his thing-- and in much the same manner my parents did for me--without too much hovering or outright interference. Personally, I think it's best that way.
I must confess to being a bit surprised though, upon learning that my son isn't much of a Harry Potter fan. While he appears to enjoy the movies as much as any other kid his age, he's not terribly keen on reading any of the books. Matter of fact, the one book in the series he owned, he recently donated to a book drive.
During the most recent Potter book craze, I tried to convince him to reconsider. I hyped all of the Potter parties and events being held at area libraries and bookstores. I talked about all of the fun so many kids his ages were having dressing up in customes and the like. My son responded with a shrug and said, "Good. I'm happy for them."
Don't you just love/hate it when your kid turns around and hurls some of your own unique brand of snippiness/snarkiness/sarcasm right back at you? "Good, I'm happy for them," is so classic . . . "Me" . . . I couldn't do anything, but laugh.
Actually, I'm kind of proud that my son refuses to bow to popular opinion when it comes to what he ought to or ought not like, feel or do. More often than not, the price one ends up paying in the quest to please others and keep up with the Jones's (or the Hiltons, or Cruises or the Trumps or any of the numerous other La-De, Da-De, Wanna-Be-Somebodies) is the loss of the ability to truly know what makes one happy . . .
So, that's right young man, keep bucking the crowd, the latest fad, trends and bandwagons, especially if you're really just not feeling them. Never be afraid to do you. And always know . . . mama's got your back.
Written while listening to the songs on Rachelle Ferrell's "Individuality (can I be me?)"