Danny does not love to read. He complies if we boss him into it, but he rarely takes the initiative to pick up a book and dive into a great story. He does like to read with me, though, and, so, I have made it my mission to help him get lost in the written word.
Today, we read aloud on the front porch (John secretly snapped this pic) from our own copies of the same book, and this is how it went: Danny read one chapter, I read three chapters (they are short), Danny read another chapter, I read two more, and so on. This back and forth is what keeps him engaged, and the joy for me is that I get to listen to my 9-year-old boy read aloud, which is magical; I love how he uses his voice to narrate the pages, how he reacts to suspense, how he asks me questions to clarify what’s happening. The book we’re currently reading — The Tiger Rising — is filled with powerful messages that are such super teaching topics, and I am thankful for the dedicated time with Danny to discuss what author Kate DiCamillo covers in her gripping paperback; there is bullying, sorrow, anger, friendship, loss, even cancer.
It was Danny’s turn to read when the word cancer appeared in Chapter 16.
“How did your mother die?” she asked suddenly.
Rob sighed. He knew there was no point in trying not to answer. “Cancer,” he said.
Danny shot a look my way, and our eyes locked. Cancer. The word always inspires a reaction in our family. I am sure it always will.
We stopped reading shortly after the cancer mention. Danny’s attention had worn thin, and he was ready for dinner. Tomorrow starts his school Read-a-Thon, though, so we will hit our books again before long. I can’t wait to learn more about Rob and the caged tiger he has been hired to feed, the tiger Rob’s friend Sistine wants to set free because it’s not nice to keep animals in cages. I hope Danny can’t wait, too.