When he was a baby, I would spread a blanket on the floor of my oldest child's room, and lie down next to him and read whatever silly books were in arms reach. I'd read aloud to him every single day until my belly was too big with his sister to lie down on the floor like that. The parenting books assured me that the matter was in my voice, not the plot or the animal characters or even the colors on the pages. That time with him, when he was still an only child, was a gift, and I lived in the vain assumption that he would grow up loving to read as much as I did. But, he grew up dyslexic and NOT loving to read. And I thought God played a trick on me. All those hours on the floor were -- not wasted -- but misdirected.
But maybe God doesn't play tricks. Tonight, my high school junior asked me to read aloud to him, Act III of The Crucible for his American Lit class. He has a quiz tomorrow, and he really needs to understand this play, and it's getting late, and it will just go faster if I can read it to him. So we sprawled out on the couch, and I read aloud a work I had not read in years. We discussed plot nuances, the character shifts, human motivations, and most poignantly -- the current political climate. This time with him was a gift. He may not remember the blanket on the floor or the hour on the couch, but I'm going to live in the vain assumption that he'll remember my voice.