About a month or so ago Eden came to me with a problem.
“Mom, I need your help.” Catching a whiff of tension, I set down whatever I was doing and looked up, all hands on deck.
“It’s Daddy,” This was a surprise since I couldn’t think of why she would be this tentative with Paul, “You know how we’re reading The Fellowship of the Rings? I want to stop but I don’t want to hurt Daddy’s feelings. Would you talk to him for me?”
My kid wanted me to break up with her dad and his book on her behalf. This was a new one.
“Why do you want to quit reading the book? I thought you liked it. You loved The Hobbit.”
To be honest, I had found this surprising. The only reason I read The Hobbit was because of her father’s love for it and my love for him. It took me another 20 years to read the The Lord of the Rings and I only did that when I knew the movies were being made. I far preferred the trilogy to The Hobbit and assumed if Eden liked the latter, she would definitely enjoy the former.
“I did love The Hobbit but The Fellowship goes on and on. They keep getting into trouble after trouble after trouble; it just gets to be too much.”
Eden and I are in a sweet spot with reading. She is a strong girl and can be resistant to things I suggest. Last summer I recommended she try, Caddie Woodlawn, an all time favorite of mine and my mother’s before me. Eden turned up her nose and I let it go until Christmas when I decided—that’s it—we’re reading it together. By Chapter Two she was hooked and we read it several nights over the holiday. It was wonderful.
Paul did the same thing with The Fellowship of the Ring: he just kept reading it and very soon they got to a better part and Eden was engaged in the story again and they moved onto Two Towers without skipping a beat. Paul and I have jokingly fought over who gets to read to Eden and I think she loves all of it.
It’s my turn now and we’re reading The Great Brain, another favorite from my childhood.
What books did you love as a kid? What are some you’ve enjoyed reading with your own children?