My wife is out of town again, through Friday this time, and as he tends to do when one of us is out of town the boy has requested to sleep in the “big bed.” I put him off last night because for a five-year-old he takes up an astonishing amount of room and is somewhat less receptive than my wife to the occasional nudge if he strays past his side of the bed.
(For the record, I have no idea how receptive I am to such nudges. I’m sure I do it too.)
My wife is reading IT for about the hojillionth time right now in preparation for the upcoming movie. We have at least three copies of the book in the house and two of them are on her nightstand– the paperback copy she started reading, and the hardback she ganked from her parents when she realized that reading a thousand pages of the tiny print in the paperback might not be in her eyes’ best interest.
As I’m reading the boy his bedtime stories, he notices the books and asks if tomorrow I can read IT to him instead of, oh, Disney’s 5-Minute Fairy Tales or whatevertheshit.
“It’s too scary for you. You can read it when you’re old enough,” I say to him, reflecting upon the fact that my first Stephen King book was Misery, published in 1987, and therefore first read (I stole my grandmother’s copy on an overnight visit, and I was 2/3 done with it before she realized what I was reading, well past the point where she could have objected) when I was in fifth grade. I went on a serious King bender after that and so it couldn’t have been much longer before I got to IT.
“Oh, okay,” he says. “They taught me to read yesterday at school. I can do that now. Can I read it to myself?”
I think about this for a second.
“Sure. You can start tomorrow, though.”
“Okay,” he says, and hands me the fairy tales book, apparently satisfied.
I’m really gonna feel ridiculous if he actually did learn to read yesterday, I imagine.