Engage Yourself, Read to Them
When I read Beth’s Birds to children it takes a while because we interact on every page. Only this time, I acted alone. I learned this group came with a different expectation. They listen to a story and if they sit quietly they are rewarded with a movie. (That sounds backward to this writer. If you sit still and watch the movie, then you deserve the best treat: a book, being read to.)
The children in this group are not expecting to interact or engage; they are expecting to be entertained.
They aren’t alone in that. Watch their older siblings at the mall, even at football games. You’ll see young people being entertained with You Tube on their facebook instead of applauding the band on the field. They take Selfies ...............
Books do entertain, but they also engage the imagination. Where do you go? What do you discover? Who do you meet? Let’s talk about it! Haven’t you ever thumbed through your favorite gardening book then found yourself digging a new garden? Do you remember trying to make a raft to float down the river because you “know” someone who did that? Didn’t you ever hide in a space ship under the lilac bushes? Signal the cavalry from the crotch of a tree? Hide a book under your pillow? Ever dig a hole looking for treasure?
Books are our treasures, our legacies, our education and our enjoyment. Pass that on to the new generation. You can’t replace their computer devices, nor do we want to. That IS their generation. But give them something else, something to keep their imaginations engaged. Maybe it’s got thick yellow pages that are dog-eared. Maybe it has threads of fiber dangling from the musty fabric spine. But because you cared about it, because it was a part of your growing up, it will take on an aura of treasure, of adventure, a desire to open it. Read it to them. Give books as gifts. They will know you think books are something special. And what you think is important. Snuggle up and engage them.