By the age of 7, I was already well on my way to becoming my fully-realized Nerd Self. By that point I was a fluent reader, so I was always parked somewhere with my nose buried deep in a book. In fact, I remember my very exasperated mother used to implore me to "go outside and get some fresh air!" She probably was trying to tell me--in a kindly, maternal way--to"run around a little bit, my chubby, pale, Bookworm of a child!" So I would obediently take myself to the front yard, where I would plop down in the grass...and continue reading whatever story I was engrossed in that day. I'm not quite that bad as an adult, but I still read as much as possible...when I happen to be eating alone, when I'm winding down before bed...and when I'm brushing my teeth (although I don't recall exactly when I started this practice, it was a long long time ago; and let's face it, that 2-minute-oral-hygiene-routine is pretty darn boring, otherwise!)
It's no surprise to me, then, that Derek has become a Bookaholic as well. When we go into his room to roust him in the morning, we often find him in front of his window, using the early sunlight to read while he waits for his wakeup call. He brings a book to breakfast. He carries one in the car if we're going to be driving for more than 10 minutes. He tucks one into his backpack for any "downtime" he might encounter during his school day. He apparently holds conversations with another boy in his class, in which they discuss and critique and recommend things they've each read (4th-grade Book Club!).
And tonight, for the first time ever, I caught him secretly reading under the covers after he'd been officially tucked in for the night! (He was using a lightsaber-keychain-toy that he'd bought in Disney World last summer, which features a pulsating green light...nauseating!) "But it's such an exciting part, Mom!" he weakly protested when I nabbed him in the act. Then, being the forthright kid that he is, he admitted "I do this every night, to get more tired. Then at 9:30 I can fall asleep." Alrighty, then, Honest Abe.
But really, what could I do? He was a) reading a book purely for fun, outside of any school assignment and b) responsible enough to put it down and go to sleep at a reasonable hour. I think I will replace his strobe light with a more traditional clip-on Booklight....which I just happen to have on my nightstand for just such an emergency! Read on, little dude!