Of reading of course! Something that I have been waiting for since Brady was born has finally happened. That amazing moment when words become more than pictures, more than letters in a line, when they become meaning and reveal the world in a wholly new way has occurred for him. I’ve been waiting all this time and somehow it has still managed to live up to all of my expectations and has been just as joyous and astonishing as I had hoped.
Brady has been reading in some respects since just before he turned four. He has known all of his letter sounds and been able to sound things out for a long time and he’s known more and more words by sight as time has gone on. Since the beginning of kindergarten his ability has grown and grown and reading the books he brings home each week has gotten to be less and less work for him.
But just a few weeks ago that explosive moment occurred where he could just read – read anything he wanted to at any time. Watching this happen for him was the closest I’ve ever gotten to having real magic in my life. He realized that he could read the guide on the TV, the signs on the street, the packages at the store, the texts I was writing to his father about his bad behavior. It was as if I literally watched the world changing for him, opening up in ways he never thought possible.
His teacher was well aware and he came home with a bag full of books a few levels above what he had been reading. His teacher told me that he literally jumped up and cheered when she told him he could pick from that bin and he could barely hold in telling me when I picked him up from school that day.
The other night he told me he thought he was ready to read for fun. My smile must have lit up the room as I told him, “Yes! Of course you are!” He likes to read on his own, although he’s not at the silent reading point yet.
He also likes to read with the husband or I. Meaning, we read our book while he reads his. I’m more than happy to be given time to read, but he also likes to discuss every few pages which gets a little irritating. Hey, I’ll take it.
I’ve made no secret of my love for the written word. Being whisked away to other worlds by the pages of a book (or the screen of my Nook) is one of my favorite things. I have a degree in writing and I’m an editor. This is clearly an important area for me. As I said, I’ve been waiting for this. I’ve been reading to Brady since he was born and the same with Declan. We lavish books on our children. It is one thing we will rarely say no to. If you want a book, you’ve got it around here.
Seeing Brady learn not only to enjoy the fun of reading, but to see the world through new eyes is by far one of the best experiences I’ve had as a parent. It hasn’t been easy. There has been frustration and whining. There has been slamming of books. Patience has at times run out and I’m sure it will again. But we’re there and it’s an amazing place to be. His life will never be the same now that reading has become a part of the picture. At least in this, I am a sublimely happy mother right now.