Saturday, August 3, 2013

Are We There Yet?

Car trips. Long car trips. Yep. They always seem bring forth from our youngest that age old question: Are we there yet? 

Not just once. Or twice. But over and over and over again. 

This past March, I tried to be prepared. As we packed for our long trip to Missouri, I made sure the Kindle Fire was fully charged and packed, along with the PSP, Nintendo DS and a new to him IPod that was his birthday present. So many electronics to choose from. Such a variety. Surely we'd survive. Surely HE'D survive. ;)

All in all it wasn't too bad. The *question* was asked a good dozen or more times but we DID survive!

Flash forward to this past Wednesday as we're packing to go on our family vacation to Wisconsin. 

Nintendo DS - Check
iPod - Check
PSP - Check
Kindle Fire - Check

"Do you have my books packed?", my 9 year old son asks. 

Say what...??? 

I'll pause here to add some perspective. While my 9 year old loves being read to, he has not been a big reader himself. Not a fluent reader just yet. And he certainly does NOT make a habit of asking if I've made sure I brought books along on a trip (even though I always know, just in case). I know him - learning to read has been a slower process for him and he has in general preferred to do other things. Things that aren't such a struggle.

I let my son know that I had our read aloud packed - we're halfway through James and the Giant Peach which he is LOVING. (BFG packed just in case we finish.) 

"My books too? The books I'm reading?"

Great googely moogely, after that question I made sure I packed them up! But I will admit to thinking it was probably a waste of packing space since he'd be too busy doing other things (i.e. electronics) on the 5 hour trip there.

30 minutes into our trip:

"Mom, can I have one of my books?"

A little bit later...

"Can I have another?"

A little bit later...

"Mom, can you hand back another one of my books?"

Gotta say, these are words that a book loving- borderline book hoarding - mama hears and finds her heart going all warm and fuzzy. I had fight to not let a SQUEE of joy erupt. (Keep it calm lady, no big deal.)

When I see things starting to click together nicely, I am thankful I battled so valiantly against my slightly more pushy, anxious, schoolish side this past year or so...and that the more patient, unschooly side won out. 

On this particular car ride, I don't think my son asked, "Are we there yet?", more than 2 or 3 times. And what was asked was more along the lines of, "How much longer?".  But I didn't care a smidge. Barely even noticed in fact. What I'll take away from this trip is where my son is at in his reading journey; his interest, confidence and growth. 

During that 5 or so hours contained in a moving vehicle, games were played on the iPod, snacks were eaten, a good dozen selfie and scenic pictures were taken with the iPod camera, conversations were had, and several books were read. 

Are we there yet??  Not quite...but good golly, we're headed in the right direction.