Friday, August 27, 2010

Summer Reading Blues

Summer vacation is drawing to a close here in Georgia. It doesn’t matter that it’s only August and still 103 degrees F in the shade; summer is officially over. School starts on Monday.
            “Did you finish your summer reading?”
            “You did? That’s awesome!”
            My 16-year-old son shakes his head. “Not finished.”
            “Oh. How much more do you have to go?”
            The soon-to-be high school junior holds up the copy of Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank that I bought for him nearly three months ago. He opens it and flips pages until he gets to the back. I feel a blossoming of hope.
“About 316 pages.” He shrugs and tosses the book on the kitchen counter. He opens the refrigerator, grabs a gallon of milk and empties what’s left into a glass that has obviously held cranberry juice sometime since its most recent washing.
I pick up the book and take a look. “There are 316 pages in the entire book. You haven’t started it yet.”
“Uh huh.”
“But it’s Friday! School starts on Monday.”
“When are you going to start reading? You know, once you start reading you’re really going to enjoy that book. I read it and I know you’ll like it.”
He arches an eyebrow. He’s not impressed.
“You have to start reading that book today. It’s going to take you all weekend to finish.”
“OK what?”
“OK, I’ll read it today.”
“Good!” I answer, naively expecting him to take the book and his glass of cranberry/milk to the sofa where he will immediately begin reading.
Instead, he chugs the contents of the glass and places it back on the counter next to the empty plastic milk jug. “See ya later.”
“Whoa, cowboy.”
“What?” he asks, grabbing my car keys from the counter and opening the door to the garage.
“Where are you going?” I frown up at him.
“School. We have a percussion sectional this afternoon. I probably won’t be back for dinner. The guys and I will get something to eat after practice.”
“You have to do this reading, young man.”
“The sectional is school work, too. I can’t miss it. I promise I’ll read when I get home.”
He bends down and kisses me on the forehead. “See you later, Mom. Love you.”
            I’m left staring blankly at the closed door, listening to the sound of my minivan backing down the driveway. Chocolate. Need…chocolate.


  1. On more than one occasion this summer, I found my rising high school freshman asleep with a copy of "Pride and Prejudice", open to page 5, resting upon her face. She finally gave up and switched books. Guess whose going to be reading "Pride and Prejudice" over Christmas break, instead? Great posting today, Vicki!

  2. She needs to read "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" instead. It's much more entertaining.

    (Note: I realize that book titles are underlined, but I can't figure out how to do that when posting a comment. It's embarrassing for an English teacher....)

  3. Unfortunately, the Zombie version is not on the approved reading list...However, the child was so embarrassed when she told her teacher the book she had read that she decided to quickly finish "Pride and Prejudice" before the book talk next week.

    I could use a spell check device along with the underline and bold functions... ;)