When Bubba and I reached the library shelf with all the Where’s Waldo? books, I was excited (to say the least)! I absolutely LOVED the Where’s Waldo? books as a child, and I couldn’t wait to get reacquainted with them. There was only one problem – I was confident that Bubba wasn’t ready for the rigors of trying to find the red-and-white-striped-shirt man.
The reason I was so sure was because I, myself, had a hard time trying to find Waldo as a third grader, and Bubba isn’t even in preschool! That wasn’t going to stop me, though… I was going to read those books and I was going to enjoy them – whether Bubba liked it or not!
After reading every Where’s Waldo? book in our library to Bubba, I wish I could say that he was able to find Waldo without my help, but that would be a lie. He struggled to find the distinctive bobble-hat-and-glasses wearing man on every single page – but here’s what surprised me… He still LOVED it! He was so excited to have a purpose for reading along with me, that his eyes were glued to every page!
And that got me thinking… Why hadn’t I given him a reason to follow along before?! When an adult reads a text, he does so for a reason – He has a purpose. It could be for work or for pleasure, but there’s always a reason. The same is true for high school students and even elementary age kids. Everyone has a reason for reading the books they read, but Bubba never really did – until now.
Now when I read to Bubba, I stop and ask him to point things out in the pictures. I ask him to find certain letters. I ask him to count the objects in the pictures. I ask him to tell me what color a butterfly is, and I ask him if the bear is on the right or left side of the page. Does he get the answers right all the time? No… but he’s having TONS of fun trying – and that’s exactly what I love to see!
Who would have ever thought that those Where’s Waldo? books from my childhood could make me a better parent?