Gabriel is not what you’d expect in a fifth boy– he’s not ambitious or precocious(except his sense of humor) and he can’t rattle off his list of favorite sports teams. Soccer matches for him are measured by the quality of donuts rather than the number of goals and at age seven he’s never even attempted to ride a bike.
His brothers have tried to shame him, “Look at 5 year-old Sam cruising around on his two-wheeler! You’ve gotta keep up!” But Gabe blithely ignores them, retreating to his scooter and stuffed animals. He is content to just BE.
I support Gabe’s nonchalance because I am past the stage of watching milestones and comparing achievements. Truth is, I know all my kids will excel at something. They’re just remarkable little people.
My older boys aren’t very competitive either. They tend to play defenders on their soccer teams and in basketball are known for politely passing the ball. It’s not unusual for Xander to finish a basketball game and have someone say, “Dude! You scored 17 points!” And Xander shrugs because he doesn’t keep track; he doesn’t care.
But he does worry, and all my boys have wrung their hands at Gabe’s lack of interest in reading. Books are the food of life at our house. We keep both our Amazon account and our local library humming with stacks and stacks of books. A new release like The Last Olympian courses through our family like wildfire and is discussed over Cheerios and while jumping on the trampoline.
Classics, art books, language primers, biographies, nerdy science volumes and hundreds of novels fill our shelves and tables. Reading is, indeed, our family sport.
I’ve told the big boys not to worry– that Gabe will read in his own time. But they are frustrated by his stilted pronunciation and recite dimly recalled feats of their own first grade reading skills, “I read all seven Harry Potter books before I was 7.” (Um, JKR hadn’t written even two Harry Potters when you were 7.)
So, Friday, when we were leaving for the school carnival and searching for Gabe, you can imagine the joy to see him here:
reading his second book of the day (book 5 of the truly magical Magic Tree House series).
And a few days later he’s already on volume 15.
Told ya’ so.