Reading to the Kids.
Yesterday I volunteered to read a book to the kids in my son’s preschool class. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had as a dad.
I’ve done this before, at a previous preschool a few year ago, but it was different. It was a holiday event so the book was chosen for me (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas), and he was too young to really understand what was going on. It was a very pleasant experience, but nothing to write about.
Yesterday was entirely different experience. My son is five years old now and not only enjoys certain books more than others, he’s got a sense of humor. He was excited at the prospect of having me visit his classroom. He picked out his favorite book and was waiting for the day when I could come in to read it. Yesterday lived up to that hype.
First, it was thrilling to see him socializing with his classmates. It’s taken him a few years to get to this point, but he’s embraced the idea of building relationships with other kids. He introduced me to every kid in line, and when we went into the classroom he gave me a tour of all the play centers. A lot of the kids recognized me, because I stand out in my sleepy New England town, so their excitement added to mine.
Then there was reading the book itself. “The Book With No Pictures” by B.J. Novak is my son’s favorite book. He thinks it’s the funniest book in the world. I was worried the other kids wouldn’t find it funny, and I’d be making funny voices to a room of unimpressed and/or bored 4-5 year olds. I barely made it past the first page when the whole classroom started rolling around laughing. They always tell you kids are a tough crowd, but this classroom was the easiest audience I’ve had in years! I think the teacher wants me to come back soon.
Watching my son grow up and form friendships makes me a very proud father. Making him laugh is food for my soul. Making his friends laugh is pure intoxication, and I’m going to indulge this new addiction until I transition from “that cool dad” to “ugh, Dad, could you stop with the stupid jokes already?!”