Uninterrupted. Sustained. Silent. Reading. USSR.

We had it for 20 minutes a day in elementary school. We had to bring a book to class and we would sit at our desks and read, silently, for 20 minutes.

I don’t think I’ve ever really read consistently since.

So should it be a shock that my son isn’t a reader? I love that Zacharie is fluently bilingual, it’s frustrating that he can’t read as well as he should. Learning in two language is complicated enough, learning with a dad who doesn’t really enjoy it makes things harder.

“Lire 20 minutes” is the homework written in his agenda every night. We don’t get to it every night. I don’t like it, he doesn’t like it. So it slides. Maybe twice a week, or three times a week we’ll work on a book together.

Zacharie reading Zac Power

Lately, Zacharie has been reading a young reader series called Zac Power. While I was at a soccer coaching clinic, he was off on the side, nose in his book, riveted by the plot line. And, just like his streaky dad, the enthusiasm waned.

But tonight, we had reading time. USSR reading time. After watching our weekly Survivor and having a shower, there was still 30 minutes before bed.

“Let’s sit by the Christmas tree and have a quiet reading session,” I suggested. I clicked off my iPad, left my phone in the other room and grabbed the book that has been on bedside table, unopened, for the past month.

reading by the christmas trree

We sat there, for half an hour. Zacharie off in some spy land, me reading about my friend Martin Parnell’s Marathon Quest. USSR in the glow of the Christmas tree. We found 30 minutes on a dark winter’s night, in the hustle of the busiest time of the year, to unplug and read.

It was perfect.

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