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The Journey Begins with a Single Book

standard January 21, 2011 Leave a response

Her fingers glide under the words, following along as her mouth stumbles over some words and lets others flow out.

We are both snug in her top bunk and I’m trying hard not to think about the tiny railing right behind me. I built this bed and while I’m confident that it will hold her 40lb body safe, I have considerable doubts that it would do the same for my significantly heavier one.


She hesitates and glances at the picture.

“Pan!” She says triumphantly.

“Don’t look at the picture, read the word.” I chide gently, smiling at the silly image of a boy wearing a pan as his hat.

She goes back to the word and reads it flawlessly this time. We high five over our grins and she keeps reading.

A page or two in, I pause and ask her to explain to me what’s going on in the story. We laugh for a moment at the ridiculous image of a pig sitting on a tin man’s lap and we resume our reading.

Not long ago I was the one who read to her, the keeper of the words, and she was the one who interrupted with the questions.

I shift a little, poking her pillow into a better place. I love to read – can devour a book in mere hours – and I’ve cherished evening reading fests with my girls – stacks of books piled precariously next to us on the couch.

The reading material is changing over time and the voice of the reader is getting younger. Even Little L is begging to be taught to read. But this shared intimacy over a love of book has remained a constant in our evening routine.

Through books I have traveled to the four corners of the world and imagination. Through stories I have learned about people’s emotions, strength, joy, and sorrow. Books have shaped how I think and who i am and I’m proud to be holding my daughters in my arms as they start their own journey.

This post was written as part of a BabyCenter campaign to help promote literacy. Click here and take the pledge to read more to your child.

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