National Family Literacy Day!

La journée nationale de l'aphabétisation familale!

Curled up for the night, with a stack of books; silly ones, French ones, reference ones, from dinosaurs to dogs that just looked too cute on the library shelves. Ah... It's wonderful to read to my children. It's our time, when nothing else matters. I wouldn't give it up for anything, yet I know it's nearing an end. Within a few years, my son will have outgrown our snuggle sessions, and I'll be left with one comforting thought-- I gave my children a gift.

It was gradual with my daughter. The odd novel was in the mix... then she wanted to read it to me, and now, frankly, I'm just slowing her down. She has a stack of books by her bed and the best I get is her mad dash to my room to read a sentence out loud that she just has to share. I have no context for it, and don't have a clue what makes it ring so exciting for her, but it always makes me smile, and wish I had the author on speed dial.

I gave her a gift. She loves reading. Not just fiction. She reads magazines, she reads reference guides, she reads, reads and reads, in two languages.

Even better, she asked what I was writing. Imagine my surprise. So, I read her a few chapters of the mid-grade novel I was working on, to see what she thought. My son crept in, curious. They gave me interesting feed back. I was working on a book for boys but didn't tell them this.
"Not enough zombies." My son was quick to say. (There wasn't supposed to be any, so I took it as a compliment.)
My daughter took her time, I knew she was thinking up a diplomatic way to tell me that something didn't sit right with her. Finally, her face all twisted, she blurted out, "I like the girl, but she has a stupid name. What's it short for?"
She smiled and settled in, he giggled and shoved her over.
And so, I told my tale and this time-- my children gave me a gift.

January 27th is National Family Literacy Day, and I'm using this day to reflect on what reading to my kids has brought us, what writing for my brats has given me.

What if one day, I wrote a story with my children? Zombies who eat princesses with girlie names aside, that might be fun.

Can't wait.


Anonymous said...

I think that would sell! Thanks for stopping by my blog today and becoming a follower!

J.L. Campbell said...

I believe a love of books and reading is one of the best gifts parents can give to their children. Even when my son doesn't read for ages, he'll suprise me by asking me to buy a book at the store or by reading magazines I have around the house.

Lisa said...

Reading to a child is one of the best gifts that a parent can give to a child... aside from loving them that is! My children love to read, my son reads everything he can get his 14 yr.old hands on. My daughter is more selective but is still a reader.
Both teens are terrific sounding boards for my novel. I enjoy listening to their h.s. experiences and often hear, "hey, __________ acts just like that!"
By the way, reading raises grades and test scores! : )

The Happy Whisk said...

Excellent post. I mean, I really loved this post and thank you for sharing your story with us. Great job. Great, great job.

WritingNut said...

This is a wonderful story, thank you for sharing! :)