One of my favorite memories of my childhood is the Winter Park Public Library. There's a room on the second floor (at least there was
a room, who knows if it's still there)in the children's section, full of comfy chairs and pillows, that's just perfect for spending long hours reading. I spent many, many hours in that room reading The Three Investigators, The Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, C.S. Lewis, and every other book on those shelves.
It's truly great to watch my boy doing the same thing - albeit in a different place. Sam doesn't have a room like that Winter Park Library room, but he does ok. What I struggle with is trying to push off my favorite books onto him, when he's wanting to read something completely different. I have this overwhelming urge to pass on the joy that I experienced, one piece of juvenile fiction at a time. But, since we've been blessed with a strong-willed child, he's not too eager to to read the books that I suggest.
While shopping at the local used bookstore with Sam this Saturday, I picked up a copy of one of my favorite childhood books for 95 cents. Emil and the Detectives was a book I hadn't thought about in quite some time, but it screamed at me from the shelves. I snatched it off the shelf and said, "Sam, you'll love this book! It was one of my favorites!" Sam took a quick look at the back and said, "Nah, not interested."
Since this has happened lots of times, it came as no shock. But I still couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed. There are some ways in which he is so like me that I feel like we should like exactly the same stuff, be exactly the same way, that I'm taken aback when he responds differently than I would have.
No one gives you parental training on this kind of stuff. How to respond when your child does something that kind of hurts your feelings a bit? It's not necessarily sensible, or rational, but I still want to say, "Why can't you just trust me? You'll like this!" As a matter of fact, I have
said that. Doesn't seem to help, and yet I keep trying. Maybe I'm the stubborn one.