Today was America Reads Day at the kids’ school. Otherwise known as D.E.A.R. for Drop Everything And Read. I have been participating in America Reads Day every single year since Keaton was in kindergarten…so nine years. The first six years I read with Keaton and the last two years I read with Skyler & Spencer.
Every year their teacher sends home a note asking if parents would like to volunteer. They give you a choice to read a book to the entire class or just to come read quietly with your child. I always choose to read quietly with my child because we all know how I feel about public speaking*. Even when my public is a group of small children.
In the past I have been known to read to a small group of children. Skyler & Spencer usually get a few of their friends to join us in the corner of the room and I read two or three books to all of them. But never once have I had to sit in the “teacher’s chair” in the front of the classroom with 25 pairs of weepy kid eyes staring at me.
At least not until today.
I decided to go to Caleb’s classroom today since this is his first year. I filled out the same same form I fill out every year. I did NOT check the “read to the whole class” box. I definitely chose the “read quietly to my child” box. But apparently that wasn’t an option in Caleb’s class.
Five parents, including me, showed up to read in Caleb’s class. I figured we’d break off in to small groups and read like in the past. But I was wrong. Caleb’s teacher told us all to pick out a book to read to the class. I started to panic. “What do you mean read to the class?”
But then I looked at Caleb and he was giddy with excitement. I’ve never seen the kid so happy. He was literally jumping up and down because his mom was going to read to the class. How could I let him down? Sometimes I just need to pull up my big girl panties and get over myself.
So I did.
I read A Pocket For Corduroy. And I did it without falling out of my chair. And I stayed conscious the whole time. Baby steps people.
When I was done the class gave me a cheese grater round of applause because I’m the big cheese and I’m great. [Ok, the whole cheese grater applause thing is hard to explain in a blog post. You had to be there. It was really cute.]
*I’ve talked about my fear of public speaking so often it now has it’s own category.