We cry when our favourite characters lose, we cheer when they win and we're broken hearted when they die. When we're caught in the throes of story, you can tell us the house is on fire and we'll just say "Mmhmm" and not hear a word. We can't help it, it's just the way it is.
This is ok. We're not about to tell any of our children how to define their own hobbies and he did enjoy the odd story here and there although he's been far more likely to read two pages and then announce "I'm bored now, what else can I do?"
Yesterday however, there was an epiphanic moment for young Master Fez.
I have recently acquired a copy of the graphic novel adaptation of The Graveyard Book. A librarian friend I know had tipped me off about a Neil Gaiman sale and like the junkie I am, I couldn't resist. It's ok, she couldn't either :P
Exhibit B and Cookie Monster, having both read the novel were thrilled to see the graphic version and devoured it enthusiastically. Fez Boy, seeing them, was intrigued. "The cover - oh gosh, it looks pretty interesting mum, is it scary? Will I like it?"
"Try it and see," said I.
Being school holidays, I put him to bed, still reading, at 9pm. At 11pm Exhibit B wandered past and said "Do you realise he's got his bedroom light on again?"
There was Fez Boy, newly transformed into a Reader, and so firmly glued to The Graveyard Book that I don't think he COULD have put it down even if he'd tried. I took it away from him, and feeling like the worst monster in the world, I ignored his begging cries of "Just one more page!!! Please!!!"
I know where that leads, there's no such thing as "just one more" when it comes to books.
He finished it this morning and now, as I write, all I can see is the top of his scruffy head from behind the pages of Coraline.
I can't tell you how pleased I am that he's had this experience. One can teach a person to read, but you can't "make" someone a Reader. It either happens or it doesn't. Fez Boy just got lucky. He found a story that set his heart on fire. A story that held him tight and thrilled him to his socks, words that dragged his eyes along the page with their demand to be read.
I think we're gonna need a bigger house.