Tradition says that during the first semester the children learn their phonograms then in January they start putting the sounds together and reading easy books. I have to confess that with my older children it was always a bit of a chore to labor with them over their books every day, they didn't catch on as fast as I would have liked and reading together never seemed to come at a convenient time.
But when Lillian told me that she had her little book bag with the latest riveting edition of I Am Not Shade it wasn't the same at all, suddenly I realized that the number of times my child would come to me asking for a story were finite, that this was the last time I'd get to teach a little child of mine to read.
The house was quiet with everyone gone to school or work and when I opened the curtains it was still black and cold outside. We pulled the big leather chair close to the fireplace where it was warm and bright and she sat on my lap to open her first book.
"See Mat," she read slowly and haltingly, forming sounds and making the sound+sound=word connection. Page by page we went until half way through she turned to look at me and said in a voice full of amazement, "I can read! I can read books!" She giggled and hugged herself in her excitement and I hugged her tight and thought about how good she smelled--still with a hint of baby there somewhere.
We read I Am Not Shade six times before she was ready to stop. Every day now we drop off the others at school, head home, pull the chair close to the fire and crack open the magic book bag to see what's she's got to read that day.
It's easy to think that Andrew's corporate life is exciting and enviable but you can't tell me that any of his experiences can compare with the pleasure that comes from seeing a little mind opening to the written word for the first time. And I almost missed it.
If you're up for a double dose Scribbit, I'm guest posting this week over at Design Mom, a terrific blog that you won't want to miss. See you there!
Congratulations to Michael from Whittier, California for winning this weekend's giveaway. He's won the beautiful Chinese New Year pyramid bag from Gochemoche--but don't give up, there are more giveaways coming every Saturday.
Technorati tags: parenting, motherhood, literacy, reading