With the smell of fresh oatmeal cookies filling my nostrils, I could hear the chatter. I watched as my wife pulled the sheet of baked delights from the oven, while she and I discussed the day’s events. After a bit, the chatter rose in my consciousness to press my curiosity button. The chatter emanated from our living room. What was my two year-old doing in there, anyway? Peeking around the corner, I spotted her. There she sat, next to our large brown ottoman, turning the pages of her Baby Body Book, commenting on the various pages, saying words she remembered from the many times that book had been read to her. By herself. Reading.
Later in the evening, after dinner, pajamas, and little girl storytime, my wife bundled up that chattering two year-old in her blanket and carried her upstairs for bedtime. My two older daughters, six and eight, remained at the table downstairs. Earlier in the day, my six year-old, after returning home from an emergency dismissal, had decided to author and illustrate a picture book (not homework, by the way). Diligently, she sat now, working feverishly to finish it before retiring for the night.
At the end of the table, my eight year-old continued to write her screenplay, an idea she hatched just a few days prior (also not homework). “Papa, I’ve already got four pages!” she proudly informed me. I casually peered over her shoulder. Stage directions, scene changes, narration…yep, it was all there.
And the girls worked right through their normal reading time, which was fine.
Many tell me that, “Well, you’re a reading specialist, of course your kids…yada, yada…” However, I know that is not completely true. Yes, I’m sure I played a hand here, of course. But I also feel extremely grateful for these precious girls and these moments of literacy I get to witness.
It is no small deal.