As most homeschool families, we've always got at least one read-aloud going, usually two. Right now we're reading Tom Sawyer and In His Steps. I am loving both books and so are my boys. One morning they woke up and announced that for the entire day they would not be making a decision without asking themselves, "What would Jesus do?" Inside I was rejoicing! This is what I want our read alouds to do, inspire the boys.
But then there's Tom Sawyer...last week, after reading the chapter where Tom, Huck, and Joe head across the Mississippi on a raft, our boys spent the entire afternoon building a boat out of scrap wood in the driveway. They worked until it was too dark to see the nails.
Then the weekend arrived. I was away with my mom and sister on a shopping trip. I came home to two make-shift forts made out of poles and tarps. And it did not end there! Last night they were fishing! Fishing I tell you! When will this madness end? Every afternoon the boys race out the back door saying, "I'm Tom!" "I'm Huck!"
It's like that great children's book, "If you give a Mouse a Cookie." In that picture book the reader is told that if you give a mouse a cookie it will snow ball and so much more will happen. (i.e. if you give a mouse a cookie he'll want a glass of milk to go with it.) Well, let me tell you, if you read a boy "Tom Sawyer" he will want to build a boat. If you let him build the boat, he will need a fort to go with it. If he builds the fort, he will want to have a fire pit to cook his supper. If he has a fire pit, he will want to get his fishing pole out of the basement. If he gets his fishing pole out of the basement, he will want to go to the creek and catch a fish. If he goes to the creek and catches a fish, he will want to eat it for breakfast like Tom Sawyer did. If he eats the fish for breakfast, he will want you to read another chapter of Tom Sawyer while he's eatting.
Yes, this essay is dripping with sarcasm. How great is it that my 11 year old is not too jaded to imagine himself as Tom Sawyer? How great is it that a piece of classic fiction can inspire two boys so thoroughly? How great is it that God has allowed me to be at home with my precious, precious boys to experience this week of Tom Sawyer? So, yes, I will always be reading to my children. But I'm definitely not choosing any pirate adventures!!