Cemetery Reading Program

I’m not sure that it could be otherwise. I think I say that a lot, but it seems so obvious, in a very strange but, well, obvious way. Jonah will learn to read by sounding out the names on headstones.

This was all him, mind you. We’d just spent a good half hour in G’s little strip of paradise…

…during which time Jonah chatted up the policeman who “protects” the workers on his day off. I wasn’t aware backhoe drivers needed an armed officer. J ran with the idea and started into tales of the baddies getting hold of backhoes and smashing cars and people “until they’re dead.” I know. Gruesome. He then launched into a series of questions concerning jail locations and size as Gabriel studied the machines, every now and then squealing in delight or asking a question I couldn’t understand through his pacifier.

I suggested the cemetery next as it’s on the way home, and I thought, heck, why not make an afternoon of it? G also has a thing for grave diggers. As we walked through, Jonah wanted to know what every headstone read. Tell me the letters, I said. Thus it began. He sounded out “Weber” first.

It occurs to me now that it’s the letters and words on all those stones as much as the peace of the place that draws me. Maybe him too. That, and his fascination with dead people. Cemetery means “sleeping place” in Greek. We are strangers to the dead buried here, but in our way, we offer our own Memory Eternal and thanks to them for bringing J a step closer to literacy.

(I couldn’t resist putting these photos through the cyanotype filter.)

2 thoughts on “Cemetery Reading Program

  1. When talking about almost any new situation/object/topic he’s unfamiliar with, Jonah will usually ask, “If I do/eat it, will I die?” He loves bones and mummies and will talk death with anyone he meets.

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