Tag Archive | hope

The Beauty of the Young Reader

There is something very special about children who read. 

Both of my boys are very good readers… now. But it didn’t come naturally which surprised me  because as a child I was inexplicably drawn to books. I devoured  so many that I can’t even come close to remembering them all. Some of my fondest memories are of walking to the local library and taking out as many books as they would let me. I remember going through the aisles for what seemed like minutes when it was probably more like hours, trying to figure out which book I would read next. 

I would pull my favorites off of the shelves: Are you there God? It’s Me, Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, the Sweet Valley High Series, Nancy Drew, VC Andrews, Mythology, Anne Rice… re-reading the books I’d already read, the ones I really loved. I spent hours and hours reading, imagining and becoming  the characters, all the while living and breathing with them. Reading was a way of life. I loved books so much that my punishment was that my parents would send me outside and ban me from books for the afternoon!

I hate to admit there came a decade in my life when I forgot my love for reading. I read but not with the passion and voraciousness of my early years. I was working… a lot… romancing, socializing, building a career, and having babies. But then my husband got me a Kindle for my birthday and I read three books in one week.  It felt as though I had found a long lost friend, my love for reading remembered and reignited.

When my children were given reading assignments and I had to practically hog-tie them down just to read a paragraph, I was surprised. I think I expected them to fall instantly in love with words, like I did. But getting them to read a page was torture and I felt like an utter failure. Even though I read to them when they were little, they fought reading tooth and nail. 

But little by little, word by word, it happened. 

We took turns reading to one another, we read every night before bed, we talked about the books they were reading in school, we talked about where they were with their reading levels, and we recognized when they hit their reading goals. Their teachers gave then goals and then rewarded them when they made their goals and I realized that my boys were finally readers! 

They learned to love reading and we were able to cultivate it with time and consistency. My youngest was the student who read the second highest amount of words this past year and my oldest made 200% of his reading goal. I’m so proud of them, but I know that this love has  to continue to be reinforced and fed. I’m planning trips to the library and trying to figure out how to continue to make reading fun.

Through my writing I’ve met some other young readers who share my passion for books and for reading. I love how it bonds us, making us instant friends because we share such a strong love. I love how it opens so many doors and makes me a part of such a strong community. It’s as though we have an unspoken understanding that reading opens our minds to a world where everything is infinitely possible. 

Children who read,  become adults who understand that the world is large and endless, beyond anything we can imagine. I love that children can imagine that. They are our future writers, inventors, teachers, scientists, doctors, and entrepreneurs. Children who read understand that the world is limitless and so are they and I can’t wait until the moment that my children truly understand this. 

I’m incredibly thankful that they are well on their way. 

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2014!

My children measure time, regularly.

They often remark on how fast the weekend has gone or how slow time goes when they are bored. They are more aware of time than I was at their age. Teaching them to “live in the moment” or “to be patient” have been every day lessons in our home, but ones worth repeating.

As 2013 is now finished, it’s the first time in many years that I can look back and feel peaceful conclusion. The year is over and with it is comes some much needed closure.

Writing two books and finishing them was a huge accomplishment and a lifelong ambition in 2013. I gained a sister-in-law, because closer to my family, and learned how to prioritize the important things in my life. I’ve watched my children grow another year older and seen my niece go another year cancer-free. I’ve grown emotionally and intellectually into a person that I finally feel proud of.

Another New Year means that I’ll be another year older also. I struggle against it like most people my age do. I want my twenty one year old body with the experienced mind that I have now. Somehow it doesn’t seem right to have wasted all of my beautiful youth on such stupidity, though I realize it was just meant to be that way. I realize that I have no choice but to accept it and age gracefully.

I’ve never been one to make NY resolutions. But this year, I am going to resolve to be healthier. It’s selfish really. I want to look better, feel better, and live longer. And while none of that guarantees that I won’t get hit by a bus tomorrow, I can just do my best.

2013 wasn’t the worst year that I’ve ever had, and it wasn’t the best. But there were a lot of beautiful moments that I’ll always treasure.

I know that I have a lot to look forward to, which is a beautiful thing. I am going into the year with a new perspective and excitement that I haven’t been able to muster for a while. Most importantly, I am counting every beautiful thing and person that I have in my life. I certainly haven’t done anything to deserve them, yet they are there.

I hope that anyone reading this has a wonderful 2014. And if life hasn’t been great, I hope that you find promise. Hope is sometimes all you need to pull you into a life that is worthwhile. Believe me, I know.

Much Love and Happy New Year!

Blog challenge Day 26-an old photo of me

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This is a photo of me when I was in my 20s and all was right with the world. I was free, full of fire, energetic, and hopeful.

It’s many years later and I don’t look quite as young and fresh, but there is a lot about me that is the same. I’m still full of fire, just slower to burn someone with it. I have two young children who keep me full of energy, but I tire a lot easier now and rest when I need to. I don’t know how hopeful I am. Some days I wake up full of hope and other days I’m convinced that the world is a doomed and evil place. But then I look into my children’s faces and I suddenly can find my hope again. It’s just not resting so readily on the surface as it once did.

I love this picture of me. It’s taken with my niece, who I adore, and it reminds me of who I was and who I still aspire to be. That girl in the picture is still alive and well. She’s just a little bit older, and a little less naive. But she’s thankful and wiser, and that’s just fine with me. ❤