There are lots of reasons I read to my girls. I was going to wax eloquent about memories of reading aloud with my parents, staying up late because Dad was begging to be allowed to read one more chapter, and how that helped lead to my love of books, which has affected my life more than I can say.
But the baby is screaming, and I'm not feeling eloquent, so tonight we're going to skip all that, and I'm just going to give you these brief reading moments instead.
|"Skippy Jon Jones 1-2-3" by Judy Schachner|
First, it gives me insight into how my children see the world. Mari, seeing this picture of dinosaurs, started naming them. It went like this: "T-Rex! Um... lizard. Unicorn!"
And voila! We now understand that to a two-year-old, anything with a horn is a unicorn.
Second, I'm learning about the role of flow and patterning in learning a language. My girls are obsessed with languages, and Mari loves to count to ten in Spanish, which we always do right after this page in this book. Her counting, however, goes like this: "...seis, siete, ocho mucho poochos!" No matter how many times I correct her, I can't seem to convince her that those aren't the words for 9 and 10. The flow is just too good.
|"Llama Llama Red Pajama" by Anna Dewdney|
And then there are the moments that remind me why fiction matters to me. When I read this book, I read it very dramatically, and this page is the climax, so I'm a little over-the-top by this point. Normally the girls are giggling as I whisper, gradually increasing in volume until I'm shouting the last word,
in the dark
without his mama.
Eyes wide open,
What if Mama Llama's GONE?
But tonight, my dear four-year-old looked at me with big eyes and said, so softly, "Sometimes I feel that way."
Sometimes, we need someone else's characters and words to make sense of our own feelings. Sometimes we see ourselves in books--even books about a llama.
And sometimes, I see my daughters more clearly through books. There was a little more meaning tonight as I read Mama Llama's reply:
don't you know,
loves you so?
even if she's
not right here.
Mama's here. Reading. Cuddling. Being with you. I hope you'll remember.