Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Radvent 12/14: Reading


single perfect sentence, AT THE PERFECT TIME.  - SARK

A quick snapshot of my favorite books:
Mrs. Mike
The Girls Guide to Hunting & Fishing
Sense & Sensibility
Eat, Pray, Love
Pride & Prejudice

I began "reading" when I was three years old. I use reading in the loosest of terms because I really had no idea what the letters on the pages meant. All I knew was that when my mom read the book, she would say certain words and certain times. I watched when she turned her head. I noticed when she turned the page. I heard the stories over and over until my baby brain, like a dry sponge, started soaking up all the things she was saying.

By the time I was three, you could pull any of my Little Golden Books off my bookshelf, and I could "read" to you, reciting the same words my mom said, shifting my eyes at the proper time and making sure to turn the page when we were supposed to move on to the next set. I was the coolest party trick on legs when it came to my parents' friends. While I don't remember the experience of fooling every last one of my parents' friends, I hear it was a riotous good time. I'll have to take their word on it. I was a little too engrossed in "The Poky Little Puppy" to notice.

I officially learned to read when I was in kindergarten. While the rest of the class was holed up with the other students in our grade for recess or a movie special, I would spend time with Mrs. Roth reading books in an empty classroom with one or two other students who were also learning to read. It was so exciting to put the letters and sounds we learned in class to use. Growing up in a house where PBS was a staple, I adored The Letter People and Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. To see and hear all those pieces of words and sounds and literature come together into a story that I was reading on my own? It was amazing. I can't think of a better gift than learning how to read. 

It was the early onset of nerdom.

It's a good thing that I'm at peace with my nerdiness. I embrace it. I found a kindred nerd spirit in my husband. Without our nerd link, I think I might be lost.

I have learned to so much through my reading. Whether textbooks for school or nonfiction for personal interest, I have never been let down by a book. Sure, there have been those books along the way that gave me pause mostly because of how poorly they were written, but I can usually always find something redeeming about a book. It may only be the dust jacket that I enjoy, but I'll enjoy something. There's just something about a book that makes my heart happy.

Last night, as I was sitting on the couch with Shannon, we started discussing traditions that we'd like to share with our children (when we have them). His suggestion? Reading them 'Twas the Night Before Christmas each year on Christmas Eve. Talk about a moment to make a woman mushy. Not only was he talking about babies we haven't yet had, he was talking about reading to them. Who does that?

I have to admit that I agreed it was a great idea. I must now rush out and buy a copy (or three) of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. I'd hate to be unable to find it when it matters most.

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