Someone is starting to read! It is so amazing to watch, incredible really.
It starts so small, you hardly notice it’s beginning. You’re just going along your merry way packing lunches, patching boo boos, and carrying on as if everything is perfectly normal.
But deep in that little brain something miraculous is happening. Behind those giggling eyes letters are starting to line up and become … words!
MOON! TO THE MOON!
HAPPY, AND DADDY, AND LOVE!
THE! (It doesn’t look like much, but it’s everywhere!)
More words come into focus every day.
And there’s something else. Our reader-to-be is picking letter sounds out of spoken words.
When the milk spills, “Mess. Mess begins with M!”
When her sister plays the toy accordion, “LOUD. LOUD BEGINS WITH L!”
When the dog comes in her bedroom, “Hey, stink and pink both end with the ka sound. Is that a K or a C?”
Oh, I am so excited! (Excited does not, in fact, begin with and X even though it sounds like it should.)
Just think of the possibilities!
Of course, the most amazing part of this is that my daughter is starting a part of her life that is so rich and deep and unlimited. A reader can truly travel to “infinity and beyond!” Being literate makes all ideas available to you and connects us all to each other through thought, intellect and emotion. Reading is genuinely a wonder of the human experience.
In addition, there are the practical aspects. For example, I will be able to leave her notes in her lunchbox: “Eat your carrots!”
She can read instructions:
1) Put away laundry
2) Give the cat a bath
Eventually, she could make cookies!
1) Cream together butter and sugar…
Wow, another reader in our family! We haven’t had an event this big since our youngest took the bull by the horns and climbed out of her crib, effectively ending afternoon naps and forcing us to sleep with one eye open at all times. (Some milestones are more pleasant than others.)
Of course, I am not so filled with awe and wonder that I can’t see the drawbacks here. This will be the last year I can hang my Santa list on the fridge. At restaurants I won’t be able to “bend the truth” and tell her they don’t have macaroni and cheese when they actually do. And, of course, spelling the adult expletives rather than saying them outright will no longer be effective. I’ll miss that old trick.
But mostly I am struck by how my family is changing. Onward and upward … and outward.
Like the amazing event of learning to walk, learning to read makes a kid her own person. Like so many milestones, this one fills you with pride and joy for your child, and a little sense of loss for the babies you once had. It is one of those events that turns babies into people, which is after all, what you are striving for.
I am so proud of you!
Like I said, something awesome is happening at our house.