I just took this picture. Yes, it is winter. Yes, it is cold. I'm just glad she has something on, even if it is a swimming suit. Please notice that she built herself a little seat and is reading Les Miserables. She is a two year old genius.
I am an avid reader. I'm not a fast or especially talented reader, but I love it. I have dedicated much of my life to growing myself by way of reading words on a page. Imagine my dismay when my daughter told me yesterday that she didn't like reading. When I asked her why, she said it was because it was "boring." After I shoved my eyes back in their sockets and took several deep, therapeutic breaths, I asked her, in my most calm, non-judgmental voice, "Why?"
This first grader has been on the verge of reading for months. She can read all the sight words and reads the first reader books with that halting, new reader way with her finger pointing at each word. When she told me she thought reading was boring, I knew something was wrong. If reading is boring, you are choosing the wrong books. I decided she was reading the wrong books. She was sick of reading the meaningless and dull first readers. Out came Junie B Jones. I know a lot of people have a problem with the Junie B. Jones books. They complain that she is rude, uses poor grammar, makes up spellings, and is not a great example for our little girls. Well, whatever. If my child hasn't learned what things are rude to say and doesn't recognize made-up words, that is my fault. If Barbara Park writes a story that makes little, sometimes struggling, readers want to read, let them read! The first chapter book that captured my attention was Ramona the Pest. Not exactly a great example herself, but it gave me courage to try reading longer books. And now I've read hundreds of classics--considered by everyone a hard genre--and other fabulous books. But first I had to start. I'm glad my mother didn't stop me to have me read something "boring," but good for me.
And then, that thing happened. That thing, where a child goes from being hesitant about every word they try to actually reading.
It is one of the most exciting things in my life--to see a child struggle with a thing and then to get it. Sometimes it is all of a sudden and sometimes it is weeks of steady work then a look back to see, "Hey, I think I've got this thing!"
It is why I do nearly everything I do--for those moments of BECOMING.