What I thought: my kids loved books, I loved books. One kid read early, the other read late, but they both loved books and stories and being read to with a burning deep sort of love. I don't want to say passion, because that makes it seem like they ran around a bellowed from the treetops, and that's not how it was, at least usually. Instead, it was more like they read walking down the street (until I stopped them with the old "death by automobile" thing). They read going down the slide. They snuck reading in the bathroom after lights out.
And do you know what I thought? I thought this meant school would be...well, if not easy, then at least something to which they were amenable. I thought they would read more widely, would read things that were amazing and fascinating—I thought reading had something to do with school.
This seems laughable to me now.
Do you know what homework is? Homework is one of my children weeping in her room because she thinks there is NO WAY she can get all her homework done tonight. Homework is a 0, because one child forgot to write the class number on her sheet. Homework—school—seems barely to involve reading at all. Homework, schoolwork—they're something else entirely, they're all about knowing where things are, what's going on, finding various pieces of paper and filling in various blanks.
Here is what I must admit is also true: I was a major screwup at school for the most part, so my "memories" of having homework be a book to read, well, maybe they're a bit starry-eyed. Not entirely reliable. (Or maybe that's why I didn't do so well, because I only did the reading.)
Not every night is like this. But tonight is like this, and it makes me want to curl up in a ball at the bottom of my closet (with a book) and shut out the world. That, or to take my kids and run away to a place where—well, where this isn't happening.
There is no time to read tonight, but they will make time anyway. At least there's that.
Here is where we are, and There is where I thought we'd be, and they are just so very far apart.