First of all, thank you to all of you who have reached out to me about concern for my daughter. We have definitely felt your prayers this past week. Some days are harder than others, but we are fighting the battle! Thank you so, so much. You don’t know how much it has meant to me!
When I was little I couldn’t get enough of reading. I hid a flashlight in my bed, between the side of the bed frame and the mattress, and would get it out almost EVERY night and read. Sometimes I would put a sheet over the top of me and let the flashlight light up my little cave. Other times I would just bust out the flashlight and get to the task at hand. I couldn’t tell you now what books I was reading but I can tell you how important reading was to me. It kinda goes with out saying that it drove my mom crazy. Many nights my reading party was interrupted by my mom. She never took the flashlight away though, I always wondered why, but I think she was trying to tell me that she trusted me to do what I knew I should, and I usually did.
Fast forward to my life now, as a parent. My six-year-old taught herself how to read when she was two. It was a surprising revelation to learn that she could read. We were at my mom and dad’s house and my mom had her old-school “Dick and Jane” books out. My mom was a reading teacher in an elementary school, so naturally she got to work with said two-year old. The only problem was, my mom didn’t have to do anything except point to the words and our daughter was reading. I remember thinking, “what just happened?” My husband got out his phone to capture the moment on camera and I just kinda of sat there stunned. I remember my mom looking up at me with this look on her face which said it all…”You have no idea what you are in for.” Well, she was right.
Guess what my sweet daughter figured out when she was four (way earlier that I thought of it)–night time reading parties. She would get really clever with her use of a flashlight though, since she didn’t have access to them. She would use her turtle nightlight (her name is Sprinkly), she would sit really close to the plugged in night light, and she would sneak things into her room that had some sort of light on them. Sometimes it was just plain amusing and other times I was thinking, “now I know how my mom felt.” Isn’t it funny how some things come back to bite you in the behind.
Mostly, I didn’t mind, until she started school and the next day it was obvious that she did not get enough sleep. Part of the nightly bed time ritual now, is to check for books and make them unavailable until the next day.
I love that she loves to read. I love to read. Some days I long to sit down on the couch by her and we are each reading our separate books, but are together doing something that we both love. She is definitely my daughter in that aspect. I can usually tell when she has had a hard day at school or has had to be really social at school because at home she takes respite in getting lost in a book to recharge. I love when she reads to her younger brother and sister and that her excitement for reading has them trying to aspire to learn. We have lots of books in our house and the library is a common staple, reading together is a cherished time for every one. My youngest loves for anyone to read to her. Lately I have found her pulling off book after book from the book shelf “reading” in her own two-year old way. I love to see the piles of books around her. My little guy is learning sight words now and actually teaching someone how to read is new territory for us. He is doing great for a four-year old and he gets so excited when he knows words and is “reading”. Reading is an important skill.
In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “I cannot live without books.”