Even at the age of nine, Cade is not a big fan of mornings. He’s better than his seven-year-old brother Nolan, who is a monster in the morning proving that shit is genetic because his mom was a beast when she woke up. She always woke up full of rage and mean and nearly violent at the injustice that she had to get up. Woe is she who crosses either of them in the morning.
Cade is more of just a grumpkins in the morning as opposed to a full on ragebeast. This never bodes well for poor Liam who springs from bed happy to be alive singing joyful songs to Mario or Lugi or Junior, his pet stuffed penguin. It doesn’t help matters that by the time Cade makes his appearance downstairs, Liam’s been up for a full hour and is ready to party. Most mornings our breakfasts are filled with “Stop Liam!” “Shut up, Liam” and “God, you’re so annoying.”
But this morning, for Cade, it was different because we were having Toads in a Hole (at least that’s what I called them) for breakfast. The kid was so overjoyed all he could do over breakfast was exclaim about the majesty of the “dippy egg;” the ingenius way the egg nestled inside of the bread; and the beauty of the little circle of toast you could use to dip and break open the yolk.
And then as he gleefully rinsed his breakfast plate and put it in the dishwasher he spied my bag next to the stove and inside that bag, a book!
See last week he was yammering on and on about some book he wanted to read called 100 Days and 99 Nights. He even drew up and stapled his own version of the book with the same title. In Cade’s version the Army Dad has to beat three bad guys before he can come home. Those bad guys included ninjas, a giant eye monster, and the Bad Army Boss. After he finished the book last week he made me write a summary for the back, because all books have words on the back cover. It was adorable.
But more than that, it just amazed me. Cade has what they call (I think) ‘mild cognitive delays’ and something else that I don’t remember the names for. Basically it means he struggles and he’s behind the other kids his age. He really has a hard time reading and often avoids it at all costs.
This, of course, breaks my booknerdy heart. Not only because I love books so much but because I know what a comfort books can be when you’re young and your life is kinda sucky (Seriosuly, The Tibbles have a stepmom who seems to be doing her damnedest to live up to all the evil stepmom stereotypes).
So when he was talking about that book last week, I was all over it. And today when he pulled it out of the bag he ran through the house holding the book aloft shouting about how excited he was about the book he wanted to read so much. I nearly died.
He was so happy that when we sat down on the couch to read the back of the book (he read it to me), I kept my mouth shut about the horrid writing* and just let him bask in the joy of a book.
*it was really hard too, because the back of the book had ‘try and reassure’ not once but TWICE in the blurbage (it should be try to, not try and).