My youngest daughter began reading this week. I am so excited for her! I remember how my oldest child struggled with her perfectionism butting up against the quirks of the English language, trying desperately to learn to read without anyone else watching lest she make a mistake and embarrass herself. Poor dear.
My youngest, on the other hand, never let on that she was even the slightest bit interested in learning to read to herself. Her big sister, father and I are more than happy to entertain her on the couch with a stack of Dr. Seuss - why would she need to do it herself? Needless to say, I nearly fell off my chair when the two of us were flipping through the pages of a book of knock-knock jokes and she read the punch line before I could. Her round little cheeks could barely contain the grin she gave me as she confessed that she learned to read at school last week. Huh?
Today, we went to the zoo and she astonished us all by reading every sign on every exhibit we went to, wearing her pride like a velvet cape swishing around her legs. I know exactly how she feels. An entire new world has been opened to her. It's as if she has been inside the closet tapping at the door to enter Narnia and finally found the right combination of moves that swung the door open wide. She is devouring everything that comes her way, looking at it all in a new way. Breakfast is no longer just something to eat. She shushes us all insistently and sounds out the words on the back of the cereal box. She can navigate her way around her favorite computer games without asking for help deciphering the buttons. It is as if someone flipped a switch and all the letters that used to be just marks taking up space mean something. What a thrill!
Congratulations, little one!