I believe that aside from providing him food and shelter and love, the most important gift I can give my son is to read to him. It was one of the greatest things my father did for me, and I now have the chance to pass it on to Grady.
Here is my promise to him, with the world (or at least the blogging world) as witness: I will read to him every day of his life until he is old enough to read on his own. And that point, we’ll continue to read together each day–sometimes I’ll read to him, sometimes he’ll read to me, or sometimes we’ll just sit together and read silently to ourselves. But no matter where we are, or what’s going on in our lives, or how much work I may have to do elsewhere, I will always make time to read with my son, every day. This is my promise, and my gift to him.
And we started yesterday (his first day in the world). I read to him from Ray Bradbury’s book, The Martian Chronicles. Mostly because it was the book I’d been reading at the time, and I didn’t bring a big selection to the library when Amy went into labor. Nevertheless, it was somewhat appropriate–he’s our little alien newly arrived in this world. And since his father likes to consider himself a science fiction writer, who better to start with than Bradbury?
Today, however, I made the trip home to pick out a few books. Tonight I’ll read to him from Tolkien’s Silmarillion–my dad’s favorite author, and a family tradition well worth honoring. Also on the “first reading list” for later this week: selections from Steinbeck, C.S. Lewis, and the book of Jeremiah, King James Version. I’ll save Dr. Seuss until he’s a little bit older and can appreciate the political satire in Green Eggs & Ham…