Bug Hunter is fortunate to go to a school with a great literacy program. This year in 4th grade, his entire class reads one book together, and they form “lit circles” of 4-5 children as well. Each lit circle reads a different book and does independent activities each week. They meet on a designated day with each circle member responsible for one part of the discussion. I’m no expert, but it appears to me that Bug Hunter can read and comprehend a book now better than most adults. Have I mentioned before just how much I love our school?
BH’s lit circle book right now is “Trouble in a Fur Coat”. Here’s the plotline: Trouble in a Fur Coat is the story about Natook, a little bear cub, who strays too far from Mother and ends up lost and alone. Natook and his sister stuck close to their mother at first, discovering the world outside their den. But Natook’s curiosity gets the best of him and he gets into more mischief. Will Natook find his mother and sister before it’s time to hibernate? The book grabbed BH’s attention and he has mentioned several times how much he likes it, to the point of wanting to purchase it so he can read it again. Today, due to a field trip, he brought it home in order to complete his reading assignment and finish the book. While he was reading, I came downstairs to do some work, and in a little while I heard him coming down. When he came into the room, I noticed that his face looked a little funny, and his voice sounded odd when he said “Mom, I finished the book”. “Was it good?” I asked. And I suddenly realized that he was struggling to hold back tears; his throat had closed up and he was having a hard time talking. “Oh no, did the bear die?” I asked. I hate it when the main character or one of their parents dies in a children’s book; I know it’s a reality that happens, but I still don’t like it. “No, it was a good ending, but it was sad. Well, happy, but sad.” His eyes were welling with tears now, and MY eyes started to water. “Well, buddy, what happened? You’re making me cry, and I don’t even know why yet!” “Mom, the bear.. he grew up and had to leave his mom…” and then BH’s face crumpled and he began to sob. He threw himself into my arms, and we cried together, for something that is still so far down the road and yet seems to be approaching at the speed of light. I held him for a few minutes and then wiped his tears; soon he was chattering away about LEGOs as if nothing had happened. And me? I’m grateful that my boy loves it here enough to hurt at the thought of leaving. I surely know, after that tiny glimpse into the future, that I’ll still hurt when the time finally comes. But I pray that, like Natook’s mother, I will have prepared him well for the moment, so that he is fully equipped to look away from my den and into the bright sunrise of a brand new day.
Now, where is that number for Costco warehouses? Cause I think I may need to order an entire pallet of Kleenex to get me through the next few years…
For more True Stories on this Tuesday, head over to Rachel and Mr. Daddy’s den. They’re sure to make you laugh, and after this story? I’m sure you could use a good chuckle! Leave ’em some love, too, while you’re there; they are some of my favorite folks ever!