A slice of failure

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

What if it’s not enough?
What if you have books in your house, you read to your babies,
you read to yourself, you read to your students,
you read about reading,
and what if it’s not enough?
What if you’ve failed this part?

What if you don’t find the right book for your kid?
What if they don’t fall in love with stories?
What if they don’t want to live a thousand lives by reading?
What if you are tired of saying “yet” because maybe yet won’t come?
Maybe your child isn’t a reader “yet” but maybe it’s really “ever?”
What if you’ve failed this part?

What if you’ve overdone it with the “I love reading!
Reading is awesome!” shouted from the mountain tops?
What if you’ve missed your chance, the reading boat has sailed on?
What if you’ve failed this part?

What if? What if you’ve failed?
Should you throw in the towel? Hope someone else picks it up?
Someone more inspiring, less momish?
Should you stop trying strategies?
Should you stop timing, book-talking, pretending you don’t care?
Should you stop buying books, reading books?
I mean, what if it’s over?
What if you’ve failed this part?
What if your child just isn’t a reader?

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2 thoughts on “A slice of failure

  1. Hmmm… lots of things to think about here…I have a daughter that I felt this way about.. she was into soccer, volleyball, nature and horses. She’s 26 now and reads! We share book recommendations and talk about books and it’s so fun. You’re planting seeds …some plants take longer.. love this poem.

  2. What a poignant lament. It’s my nature to say never give up. Just when you stop hoping is when the miracle occurs. I do not know the ages of your children but I can tell you that several elementary students I worked with in the past didn’t enjoy reading until much later – one even returned to tell me he won an award in English his senior year. Reading was a struggle for him as a child. He readily acknowledges that it was mostly a confidence issue. Furthermore – we’re all composites of different gifts that need to be cultivated. You’ve planted the seeds; they will germinate. How long they’ll lie dormant – no one knows. Meanwhile work through the children’s other loves, passions, and strengths. And strength to you – this is such a courageous post.

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