This Mama? She’s a Proud One.

When I was a kid my mom and dad accumulated a fairly large library of books for me.  Berenstein Bears.  Cat in the Hat.  Fox in Socks.  Peter Rabbit.  There were so many.  I was lucky to have those books and I knew they were special.  I remember being so excited to go to Kindergarten because I wanted nothing more than to learn how to read by myself.  I wanted to be able to pick any book I wanted from my shelf and live the stories.  Kindergarten came and went and I still didn’t know how to read.  I didn’t realize it was something you had to wait to learn in Grade 1.

Eventually I did learn to read (obviously) and I did pick up my books and experience the stories and I never stopped.  Reading (and now writing too) is one of the most important aspects of life for me.

Those books followed our family around packed in boxes for years. Long after my sister and I were ‘done’ with picture books and moved to reading novels those books sat in basements and crawlspaces.  Each time we moved house those books moved with us and that was quite often considering my father was in the military.

I moved out of my parents’ home.  I moved in with my boyfriend.  I married that boy who is now a man and a father.  When my daughter was very small my parents drove over the mountains from Vancouver Island to visit. They did so with a couple of boxes in their trunk.  I filled up the little book case in her room and began to read to her every night.  She loves many of the same stories that I loved when I was her age.  This week her favorite is ‘In A People House.

I taught her the alphabet and what sounds the letters make.  She has memorized many of the stories and recites them back to me because she wants nothing more than to read to me.  She wants to read those books all by herself just like I wanted to.  She points out the words and asks me what each one says.

“What are the letters?” I ask her.

“H. A. T.” She says with her little finger poised over each one as she speaks.

“That’s right! And what does each letter sound like?”

“hhhhhh  aaaaaa ttttttt” she responds correctly and with hesitation.  She wants to make sure she gets it right.

“Very good.  Now, what word are the sounds making?”

“Hat!” She smiles.  She knows she read it all on her own and she’s pleased.

But she’s not as pleased as I am.  I’m over the moon that my little girl of not quite five years old is beginning to read.  She’s reading all on her own and she’s learning off the very same books that I so adored as a girl.  A girl who was once very much like my daughter.


this is about half of her library...


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  1. Oh. My. Gosh. Seriously, we sound like we could be separated from birth… Except for that whole parents visiting you and bringing you books stuff. 😉 I grew up with the same books as you did, my reading however began a bit earlier, mostly because I was probably bored. :p I was 3 when I heard my parents say “how about p-i-z-z-a for lunch?” And I yelled “YEAH! PIZZA!” Thankfully I can still spell in front of my kids. lol! Lauren is much like Hannah. When she started school this year, she would NOT answer questions, she didn’t want to be wrong. Now, she answers and she’s ok if she makes a mistake. That girl makes me proud.

  2. Many of the books I loved (all of Dr. Seuss of course :)) are in boxes in my basement. They survived my love, my kids love – though some got loved into replacement – and now wait patiently (VERY patiently, no rush please) to be passed into the curious hands of my future grandchildren. No technological advancement will ever replace the joy of books. Great post, Heather – a smile for the morning!

  3. One of my top 5 favourite things of being a mother is watching my kids learn to read. Then all of life is about reading and writing and learning. It’s really a miracle and my last baby just learned how to read and I will never experience that again. It’s sad. But having a house full of readers the very best indeed.

    I love In A People House as well. And Are You My Mother.

    So awesome.

  4. Reading is such a good thing. My daughter has hopped on the reading train and now almost every book we own has breathed new life. I also love watching my daughter curl up in her brothers bed, reading him a book. Just like DaddyO and I have done since their birth. Reading is a lifelong tool. I can’t imagine a life without the written word.

  5. I don’t remember learing to read, but I do remember falling in love with reading – it happened the summer going into grade 6.
    I am now an avid reader, and hubby is not a reader at all – I so wish he was – I want to discuss books with him and read a great book because he told me it was great.
    So I look at my daughter – only just 5 and not reading yet, but she wants to read like me – big books with no pictures – oh and she wants to come to book club – I so hope she falls in love with reading and one day we can share books and discuss them.

  6. I have read to all four of my kids usually cuddled up on one of the kids’ beds. Each night we had to take turns as to whose bed we would use for our nightly reading fest. I loved that time. My daughter reads voraciously to this day (she is 16), the boys not as much, but I know it has helped them tremoudously in school, in all of their subjects. Keep reading with your daughter – she’ll remember that time together.

    • I love the idea of taking turns on each kids’ bed. When my two are in separate rooms (they share right now) we might have to do that!

  7. Such a smart little one. She sure does take after her mommy. It is hard to be on the other end of that spectrum and see your child struggle with reading so much until it becomes something they hate because they have a learning disability. I am so glad she enjoys reading and pretty soon she will be zipping through all those old books that used to be yours!

    • it must be a struggle to keep kids interested in things that are difficult for them because of a disability. It’s a good thing your boys have such an awesome mama!

  8. I had a ton of books as a child as well. I wish I had taken them when I moved out of my parents house, but I had no space for them. Sadly, they were lost when my mom lost my childhood home.

    We are slowly rebuilding that library for Miss Ro. She has been reading for quite a while now. She loves to be read to and to read to us. I always get a swelled heart and a tear in my eye when she reads us a bed time story. My baby is growing up! 🙂

  9. Loved this post! My kids have books from my childhood as well…CHristmas books and my Little House on the Prairie Books. It so nice to share those memories with your kids! Angie xo
    ps-did you know that your blogger account is set at ‘no reply’ so when you leave a comment, no can reply directly to the comment? Just wanted to mention that in case you didn’t know! I always reply to people’s comments but I can’t when it’s set a no reply. Talk soon!

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