Aaron often interrupts me mid-sentence in a story to ask, "What does that word mean?" I love it when he does that. It means he's not only paying attention but thinking critically. Isn't reading great?
Yesterday we came upon a gem of a word:
Me: "'Pete the Cat* put on his favorite shirt with four big, colorful, round, groovy buttons.'"
Aaron: "Mom, what does 'groovy' mean?"
Me: "It means 'cool' or 'awesome.' So if you really like something, instead of saying, 'That's so awesome!' you could say, 'That's so groovy!'"
Aaron got that delighted look on his face that just delights me, and I could tell he was planning ahead, trying to figure out when he could use the word in real life.
"You know, Aaron," I said, "Daddy would think it was so funny if you used this word. You could say something like, 'I like your groovy rocket, Dad.'" (Mike got two model rockets for Father's day...definitely a kid at heart, that one...and Aaron and Max have been helping in the building and construction.)
Aaron loves surprising Mike with anything, so all day he worked on remembering "groovy." When he woke up from his nap, the first thing he asked me was, "What was that word again? The one that means 'awesome'?" "Groovy." "Oh yeah, groovy." And his face broke out in such an Aaron-grin accompanied by such an Aaron-laugh. (You have to admit, it is a funny word.)
That evening, during a little post-soccer-game snack, he whispered, "Mom, that word..." and trailed off because Mike was standing right there and could tell Aaron had a secret.
Then he suddenly remembered, and before he could forget it again, he said, "I love your groovy rocket, Dad!"
And the way those two cracked up, you would have thought Aaron had used a really impressive word like, I don't know, "menagerie" or "clandestine" or something. But then again, the word was groovy, so maybe their reaction was spot-on perfect.
*opening line of Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. If your kids haven't been introduced to Pete the Cat, then it's high time they were. He even made it to #20 on Fuse #8's Top 100 Poll. Not too shabby.