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A Reading Field of Dreams

I’m not a baseball fan. But there’s something about a good baseball movie that gets me every time. Like, in Field of Dreams when the whisper comes from the cornfield, “If you build it, they will come.” 

Readers, I had a Field of Dreams moment.

Let me back up. 

My 11- and 13-year old read most days. Sometimes it’s for two minutes, sometimes it’s for an hour. Sometimes it’s independent. Sometimes it’s with me. My husband started reading nightly before bed a few years ago as a way to help shut down his overactive brain before attempting a good night’s rest. But…

They’ve never read independently all at the same time. 

Without a suggestion. Without being asked. Without so much of a hint. 

Until this past weekend. 

I snuck a picture from my corner to capture this moment. 

If you’ve never had a moment like this or want more moments like this, I’ll let you in on a secret. 

We built a field for it and trusted the team would eventually show up to play. 

Here are the blueprints for a field of your own: 

  1. Make time for nothing. On this particular rainy day, we had nothing planned from 1:00 on. 
  2. Set the stage. It was a really chilly day for May, so my husband lit a fire in the fireplace. Important: fires are not necessary. We have them like 4 times a year. But it was super cozy and probably helped draw everyone in.
  3. Cultivate calm. The dog was napping. The tv was off. Phones were silenced. And ¾ of us *might have already been in our pajamas. 
  4. Keep books handy.  I was already reading and my husband grabbed his book too. My son sauntered in and picked up his. Then my daughter joined in a few minutes later. Key: the books were already on the coffee table in the living room. 
  5. Relax. As much as my brain wanted to scream, “Oh my! This is REALLY happening! We’re all reading independently at the same time. In the same room” I refrained. I played it cool. So should you. Your goal is to keep the mojo going.  

We read like this for about 20 minutes. I’m not sure it will ever happen again. But one afternoon, we were all playing ball at the same time, on the same field. It might take awhile. You might feel failure. But keep building. They WILL come. And if they have a good time, they’ll come back for more.