Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In which I am happy

Little Prince is growing up.

He'll have you know that he's SIX-AND-A-HALF (don't forget the half) and almost SEVEN. And SEVEN is almost EIGHT and that's HUGE.

I like watching him grow up. I like watching his personality develop and become his own person - even if we clash over it sometimes. I like that he knows what he likes (science) and doesn't like (chores.)

I like HIM. (And isn't that somehow different that loving him?)

I'm especially enjoying introducing him to things that have made me who I am.

Reading the Narnia series with him was an emotional experience for me - how he clapped his hands and exploded in laughter when Aslan came back to life - how solemn he became when Edmund asked forgiveness - whooping and punching the air when the White Witch died. Now he's into Harry Potter, and is fascinated with the intricacies of magic and how Tonks can give herself a pig nose. (So am I.)

I find myself crying over this sharing-of-souls. Although tears aren't a normal reaction to telling stories about Snape. But it's knowing that I'm giving him something he will enjoy the rest of his life. Something that I enjoy. Something that makes both of our hearts soar - frees us from the earth and lets our imaginations reach up toward the sky.


There are so many books that have become woven into the very fabric that is me. And to weave them into my son?


There are no words.

Yesterday we sat at the kitchen counter for an hour as I told him the fabulous story that is Les Miserables. (I just finished all 1500 pages.) As I unfolded the tale of Jean Val Jean, we listened to that inspired music together - and the tears rained down.

We had deep discussions about the countless moral dilemmas presented in the novel.The bishop lied about the candlesticks - Fantine and the Thenardies' choices - Javert and "all the evil of good." We covered the French revolution, which led to the Egyptian revolution, which led to the Book of Mormon and discussions on kings and absolute power.

Basically, it was awesome.

Because when it comes down to it, I know exactly what I want to give my son.

The world.


Amy said...

I look forward to these conversations with my kids in a few years! And Les Miserables is my favorite book ever! What a conversation starter

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

You continue to be one of my favorite mom-models out there.

Kimberly said...

I can't help but echo Stephanie. Seriously. Can I be you when I grow up?

Love this post. Love how you're raising those awesome kids of yours. Love you.

DeNae said...

Extraordinary parenting, Beck. You're a dream.

Erin said...

I wish we were neighbors. We love books at our house, too. Our boys could ride bikes together.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

You are inspiring me.

Qait said...

This is perhaps my most favorite post by you ever-- what a really sweet experience to share (and keep sharing) with your sweet son! Oh, I'm so excited to do the same with my Ender.
You are fantastic, you really are, and I'm excited to read about something wonderful like that. Makes me adore your son for being so brilliant and close to you, too. Oh, books! *LOVE*

Just wonderful. I'm having to force myself to stop gushing on and on about all the giddy love I feel for this post and everything it envelops.

Happy Mom said...

Wow, both my sister and I posted about reading today, then I come here and read this post!

"Something that makes both of our hearts soar - frees us from the earth and lets our imaginations reach up toward the sky" I wish I had written that sentence, 'cuz that's it!

You nailed it! That's exactly how I felt as I read the Chronicles of Narnia with my seven year old. After reading the series twice, she begged me to read it again, but I convinced her to let me try Harry Potter and she become so entranced that HAD to read almost all of the time that we were both home and not unconscious

I too, have told my children the story of Les Miserables and cried as we listened to the music together.

The whole post resonated with me. Smiles abound!

janel said...

I love the differentiation you make between loving him and liking him (not that they are mutually exclusive). Being read to by my mom, even when I was old enough to read anything on my own, still comprises some of my happiest memories.

JBSquared said...


Melanie Jacobson said...

My eleven-year-old and I still read together several times a week. It's a highlight for me, and even as tween-y surliness creeps in, those reading moments keep the channels of communication open for other things.

annie valentine said...

Now all I can think about is the fact that Harrison is nearly eight and we haven't read Narnia. WE HAVEN'T READ NARNIA.

raprettyman said...

Tears and also wishing we were neighbors.
I fly free, can we come visit? :) You're oldest and my youngest are peas in a pod.
When he was 5 he said very politely, "No, thank you." When I asked him to do a chore. :) I almost felt bad when I had to explain that it wasn't really an optional thing.

We also love books and I just got a whole, strange dream told to me that corresponded with a book we are reading. 100 Cupboards.
We also love science and get a new package every month with a new science project. 36 in the series and it builds one on the other. It can be used as a school curriculum, but we just do it for fun.