I picked up my son at the babysitter a few days ago, and he was beaming. As it turns out, all of the students who met their RIF reading challenge earlier this month were rewarded with new books to keep at home. My son received a certificate designating him a “Polar Bear” reader, and was allowed to pick out 3 books.
However, that wasn’t really the source of his excitement. He whispered in my ear, “I have a surprise for my sister!”
Apparently, when looking through selection of kindergarten literature, he spied the perfect book for his younger sister: “Purplicious”, a story in a series about a girl named “Pinkalicious”‘who is enamored with all things pink.
My son decided his sister should really have this book. Rather than take three books for himself, he took only two, and gifted the third to her. He then decided he would surprise her when we got home. This in and of itself is a pretty huge deal. After all, it required that he keep this secret for about two hours, from the time he got off the bus until I arrived at the sitter’s house.
In the grand scheme of things, none of this is Nobel Prize worthy, but I was thrilled. Here, my 5-year old was displaying a level of generosity that is foreign to many adults. No one prompted him to share in his reward. In fact, I asked if any of the other students picked out books for their siblings and he said “No”. Honestly, at that age, I doubt I would have either.
I told my son that we were very proud of him for being such a good reader, but that we were even more proud of him for being such a good brother. He just smiled, a lot.