Benjamin’s not ready, we decided. He’s only in first grade, and he’s just now come out of his period of intense fears.
“He’ll understand it better if I wait,” I told my husband. “It’s not going anywhere.” Sure, his brother was his age when he began, but the books would hold in the closet a little longer. Because I’d bought him his own set at a used bookstore eight months ago.
I puttered along, reading him Beverly Cleary books, and he puttered, too, with books about Lincoln or a few pages of whichever Ramona book we were on.
Today, he walked out of school, his nose deep in his library book, halfway through “Chapter One: The Boy Who Lived.” Perhaps he wouldn’t understand it, I worried, but he seemed to be able to explain everything he was reading.
And now I sit here in his room, during our reading time, while he lies on the floor reading chapter two, because he wants to read it all by himself.
I waited too long.