Recently, I walked by Will's bedroom and saw something that made me stop in my tracks: He was curled up in bed reading a book. It was 6:30 in the morning!
He told me he'd woken up a little before six and didn't want to make any noise, so he decided to read. My heart swelled.
I come from a long line of educators and am the daughter of an English teacher. I remember my mom always telling me she didn't care what I read - Shakespeare or People magazine - as long as I read. To this day, when I talk to her on the phone, she never fails to say to me: "I hope you're making sure Will reads."
Like many schools, Will's elementary school has a summer reading challenge. Students who meet the challenge get to go attend a pizza party at the start of the new school year. I'm for whatever works or motivates children to read.
I'll admit at one point I was worried Will didn't show much interest in reading. Sure, he loved for me to read to him, but that was about it. Halfway through third grade, the reading bug got him and he's devoured chapter books like nobody's business!
Reading opens up our world. It takes us on adventures we can only dream about. It expands our vocabulary. It broadens our perspective. And a good book can make you laugh out loud or have you reaching for a tissue.
I've always been an avid reader ... and still am. (I probably tear through a book every week or two.)
Now, as a parent, there's nothing better than calling your son a little bookworm.
Julia Sims is a mom of one and reporter for WRAL-TV.