For the Love of Reading by Dina Ramon
I love to tell my daughter how when she was in my tummy I would read to her. So anxious to be an ‘older mommy’ and prepared for her arrival, I would read aloud from Dr. Seuss alone in a quiet room so she would get to know the sound of my voice; plus I probably read somewhere that reading to your unborn child gives him/her a boost on the intelligence scale. Through her toddler and preschool years we shared lots of stories; from old favorites like The Big Red Barn through her ‘Dora the Explorer” and Barbie and fairies stages.
She always enjoyed going to the bookstore or the library. I still remember the first time when she read a story to me instead of the other way around. She was in kindergarten and I was so immensely proud of her I could barely sit still for the story. From then on she usually read to me but we also often took turns reading to each other. In early elementary grades when daily reading became mandatory homework, I often had to remind her to get in her 20-30 minutes. Even though she enjoyed reading, she found it challenging to fit that in as she was still making the adjustment to a full-time school schedule. But little by little, she read more independently and I had to remind her less. These days she reads on her own, and often. She can’t get enough of books and she gets through them quickly. She loves to talk about the books she reads and often goes for books that her school friends recommend. She even has her favorite places to read, most notably her pink Bean Bag Boss chair by her window.
I love to watch her sitting quietly, focused on her book and looking comfortable when she doesn’t know I am looking. Sometimes I just stare at her until my eyes well up with tears; the same tears of joy that I have experienced for 8 ½ years as her mom. Sometimes the progression of something special happens so gradually that we don’t see how it happened until a pivotal moment lays it all out in front of us. When I watch my daughter reading to herself I can’t help but think back to reading Dr. Seuss to my tummy and everything leading up to where she is now makes sense.