Monday, January 12, 2015

A New Chapter

Dear Ian,

Little-bitty you picking a book.  Eight months old
If I had to pick one thing that I absolutely LOVE to do with you, it would most definitely be reading to you.  Yes, of course, I love building with Legos with you (I swear I should have earned an engineering degree by now with all the time we've spent doing this), and I love taking you bowling and to the park, but laying with you every night and reading to you is my very favorite thing.  I actually get sad when someone else offers to read to you or if I'm away at bedtime, and I make up the time we missed the next day by reading before nap or reading two books before you go to sleep for the night. 

I love reading in general; it's not uncommon for me to be walking around with my nose buried in my Kindle or a good ol' fashioned paperback, and I hope to inspire that sort of love for books in you.  So far it seems like it's working.  You love to go to the bookstore as much as I do, and you will sit for hours up in your room reading.  This makes my whole day.  Especially now that you're doing more actual word reading, which, by the way, totally amazes me.

We spend quite a bit of time at the library during our summers, and I am proud to say that you had your own library card before you were three years old.  Books also ended up being your first foray into the life of crime, too.  Two summers ago, you got on a kick about the Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.  You can tell us just about anything about those two little robot rovers on Mars, and so when I found this book, The Mighty Mars Rovers, at the library, you were completely thrilled.  After two weeks of borrowing, it was time to take it back, but I could not find that book ANYWHERE.  I tore our house apart.  Finally, I called the library, and we checked it out again so I could have extra time to look.  Magically, the book surfaced again, so we read it for another two weeks, but then, when it was again time to return it, the book vanished.  This happened THREE times!  Finally on the third time it resurfaced, I locked it in the car, determined to take it back to the library the next day.  That afternoon, I loaded you in the car, and we drove off to take the book home.  I looked in the review mirror, and you were completely in tears.  Turns out, little you had been hiding the book because you didn't want to return it.  I felt horrible.  We had a long talk about returning things that don't belong to us, and I reassured you that we could check it out whenever you wanted.  Your current teacher, Ms. Nancy, who I was working with at the time, ended up buying it for you for Christmas.  You still look at it and ask me to read it to you to this day. 

Anyhoo.  Back to the main point of this letter.  You now own pretty much the entire Berenstein Bears library, and you and I have read almost every book in your room at least five times, so I decided it was time to branch out.  You and I have delved into the world of chapter books.  Now, to be honest, this is not your first experience with books with little to no pictures and long story arcs.  Nope.  You probably don't remember this at all, and if you did, that would be insane, but I read you the ENTIRE Harry Potter Series starting when
Your favorite book at this age (one year old) was Blankie
you were about 3 months old.  During bath time, I would prop you up in your little whale tub and read you a chapter or two as you splashed and played.  No, you didn't have a danged clue what I was talking about, and you had absolutely no interest in the plot, but you loved to listen.  I would then put you to bed and read more myself, but I always remembered to "catch you up" on the parts you had missed after bed time.  Yes, yes, your mommy is a giant nerd.  So what.  Moving on.

The chapter book adventure we've started now is the Junie B Jones series.  I was introduced to these books when I was teaching a Kindergarten-First Grade multi-aged class at The School of Arts and Sciences.  I started reading a couple of chapters to them a day before the kids were called to buses or after-school care at the end of the day, and we ended up getting to book 24 in the series.  The children really seemed to enjoy them, and to be honest, I thought they were hilarious.  I DO tend to edit Junie B. a little, as she loves to employ the words "stupid" or "dumb bunny" in her vocabulary, and I think I don't want you to influence your classroom with those terms as of yet.  Your teacher probably appreciates that, too.  But you are really into them!  We read two or three chapters a night, depending on what time you finished bath and jammies and whatnot, and you always beg for more.  I love hearing you laugh at Junie B.'s antics, and the fact that you're envisioning them in your head and using your imagination makes my day.

It won't be long now until we're reading Harry Potter again, but this time you'll actually be enjoying the plot.  And then there's The Wind in the Willows, and The Hobbit and so many countless others.  I don't know how long you will let me read to you, so I am going to milk it for as long as I possibly can.  There's nothing quite like it; having you snuggled up next to me as we share a good book is one of my very favorite things in life.  I love every second of it.

My boy: lost in a book

I love you!

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