It is a rare site these days. Occupying a local coffeeshop or bookstore with a current read in tow, but…. this time, you are not alone. You are with your whole family! Shocking! Unheard of! How can reading together constitute ‘family time’? Do they read the same book?
All these thoughts raced through my head, however the first one I had was, “That is freaking amazing” as I watched a family of three – mom, dad, and a middle-grade girl – breeze past me to order from the counter and take a seat on the L-shaped couch. Once their food and drinks arrived, they each cracked open their books to the last page they were on, and began to consume all the knowledge as well as the connectedness between them.
I smiled big at this sight and wondered how that came to be for that family. Is it a tradition on Sunday mornings? Whose idea was it? Wanting to discern the answers, I however held myself back from interrupting the quality time they were spending together. This reminded me of D.E.A.R (Drop Everything And Read) when I was in school for some reason. I remember having reading challenges during the year and then over the summer where my parents logged how many hours I read so I could be entered in to a drawing for more books or something. Somehow, I don’t think this family outing I witnessed was for an extrinsic motivator but for the pleasure of being a family that reads.
I wonder about how engaged young readers are in this generation. I do not know what it is like to be a parent first off or am in an environment where I am around kids like in school or daycare. I am optimistic that the spirit of reading is instilled in some way – whether or not it is a physical book or a cereal box. Anyway, when I am fortunate to have my own family, I wonder if this outing will be something we will naturally turn to. That is the thing with passion areas, I am fearful to force them on to those I love because the joy may not be the same or there may be pressure or obligation to engage. I do not believe this family I saw had that issue and each family will be different with what brings them together, and it looks like this family reading together has potential for future outings and bonding 🙂