I read early and often. Reading was for me what video games are for Daniel, an escape. Daniel has dyslexia and reading is a challenge for him. As a result, he hates it. Reading is the number 1 trigger for conflict between us.
Yesterday was a beautiful day with Daniel. Daniel and his brother, Robert have a knack for driving each other crazy and they have spent a large amount of time together this summer. Yesterday, Robert spent the day at a friend’s house. It was as though the hair shirt had been removed from Daniel. He was calm, conscientious, cooperative, careful and just plain enjoyable.
We went to the beach and he played happily with his sisters. There was no arguing, rough housing or absent-mindedly slamming into other swimmers. Often, physical activity seems to cause Daniel’s energy level to spike off the charts. I can almost see him vibrating like a tightly strung guitar string. Yesterday he was just calm – period.
I took Daniel to the store, another high energy activity for Daniel. Again, calm. He communicated with me. There was no arguments or outbursts. Daniel kept track of his money by himself and didn’t get lost once.
On the way home, Daniel was reviewing his purchases. One of these purchases was a roll of cookie dough. As we turned into our community, I heard Daniel slowly say, “Pre-heat oven 350. Bake until golden brown…”
I was stunned. Daniel was reading! On his own! Voluntarily! I felt like I could cry from sheer joy.
Out of the corner of his eye, he caught my expression.
“What?” he asked with the goofy smile he always gets when he knows he has done something awesome but wants to be cool about it.
“You’re reading!” I exclaimed.
“Well, of course. What do you think I do with my books?” he replied. Again his smile belied his nonchalant tone.
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It has already been a long, hard summer and exhaustion has been setting in. Yesterday was a breath of fresh air. To quote my daughter, “It made my heart feel super happy.”