I am an English teacher.
I adore books.
I love reading and exploring the idiosyncrasies of language with my sons.
But when it comes to Edgar’s making significant strides in reading, I credit his father–thoroughly, unabashedly, and thankfully.
My AP English classes have been and are made up of primarily female students.
There are only women in my book club.
And while I know that I am quite capable of helping my sons master their sight words and inspiring in them a love of reading, I also must concede that the world is short on male role models–that is, men who love to read, men who love to talk about words, men who want to sit down at the end of the day and talk about books and words with their children.
Our daughters do not have to look far to find women who love language; and luckily my sons don’t have to search for a man who relishes their accomplishments with sight words and syntax as much as anything else.
At the risk of disparaging my role as a female teacher to many male students–not to mention as a mother to sons–I cannot deny the power of what is happening in scenes such as the one pictured here. I can read and flash a card as well as anyone; but I am not their father. I am not the adult version of the person into whom they aspire to grow.
He is that person. And he is giving our sons–and three future men in the world–an unparalleled gift.