“Mom, I have better things to do now.”
When the conversation is about reading, few words cut a librarian to the quick more efficiently. My 13-year-old son and I had first been talking about screen time limits. He had been expressing his thoughts calmly while I mentally congratulated myself on how I was handling this touchy conversation.
It went downhill when I shared my hopes for better use of his time than first-person shooter games and YouTube. Then came his comment about reading.
“I have better things to do.”
I stood like Wile E. Coyote who has been hit by an anvil but doesn’t realize it yet – mouth agape, eyes wide and uncomprehending. I must have looked stunned, because he repeated that sentence for me. Slowly.
As I looked into my son’s face, this kid who’s been steeped in the magic of books his entire life, my heart sank. I pictured the decline of his reading as the slamming of all those doors that my husband and I tried so hard to open for him.
Then I woke up and remembered he’s just turned thirteen – the game’s not over yet.