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BOOKWORMS AND BASEBALL
It’s been especially fun watching this evolution as Jacob gets older. We try to strike up a balance of books he’s excited to read and books I’m excited to read to him. It ebbs and flows. Recently, though, we found a series of books he and I are both excited about. Jacob just discovered baseball as a sport, so when he found a set of baseball books at a book fair, it was love at first sight. Do you remember book fairs? Jacob’s school hosts two of them a year, and I always get suckered into buying a lot of books. During the spring book fair, I took Jacob early in the day, and somehow, later that day, we found ourselves back at the fair. I was adamant I wasn’t going to buy any more books, but this set caught Jacob’s eye. It was a series of baseball books, three of them, by baseball legend Derek Jeter. I thought, “Great, I’m going to buy books by a famous baseball player because I want my kid to read, and baseball is the way to get him excited about it.” But as we started reading them, I realized both Jacob and I thoroughly enjoyed the series. We looked forward to bedtime and reading the books together. On nights when we can’t read for one reason or another, I find myself feeling disappointed! Jeters’ books teach good tenants of both athletics and school. They don’t just talk about baseball; they also teach kids about being good student athletes and people, as well as being responsible on and off the field. Jeter also dives into good sportsmanship and talks about the fundamentals of baseball. The books are educational on both fronts and pretty well written. Jacob is the kind of kid who doesn’t mind reading the same books over again, and while I’m not going to bring it up just yet, if he wants to read the whole series again, I’m up for it. I’ve enjoyed them so much that when I heard there were more books in the series, they somehow made their way onto Jacob’s gift list. I must admit, I look forward to our nightly routine of bath time, reading, and bedtime. It’s nice that Jacob still wants me to be super involved, and I’m soaking up as much of it as I can.
Since Jacob was born, it’s been a tradition for Josh and I to read to him before bed. We’ve done this since he was itty bitty, and despite him being able to read on his own now, the tradition continues. Reading is an important part of all our lives. Jacob enjoys being read to, and Josh and I both enjoy reading. Until Jacob was about 5, Josh would read to him, then I would snuggle with him before bedtime. As he’s gotten older, he’s in a phase where everything is with Mom, and I’ve taken Josh’s spot as Designated Reader. If I’m not home, Josh gets to fill in, but for now, I’m the chosen one. Last year, we read the Harry Potter series. Josh started it off, but somewhere between book one and two, Jacob flip flopped and wanted me to read to him. I think Josh was a little disappointed, but of course, Josh and Jacob have their own rituals together. They talk about baseball, and Josh takes him to games. They build cars and do Cub Scouts. We each have our own special time together.
–Meliha Perez Halp ern
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