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The Reader

Mia can read. I mean, she isn't diving into Nietzsche or anything, she's no savant, she's five and she reads like a five year old. But she reads, she definitely reads. She gets better, noticeably better, every single day. And I know that's how it happens, I know there is a general tipping point where they go from struggling to sound out cat to struggling to sound out antidisestablishmentarianism, and I know that given all the various components of her upbringing and opportunities and development it would be far more shocking if she weren't learning to read than that she is, but I can't help it. I am in awe.

I am amazed when she figures out backpack. I want to stand up and cheer for pigpen. And I don't know why. It isn't alchemy, it is just reading, something I have been doing myself for over thirty years. But my baby, my baby can read entire books, it amazes me.

Is/was it like that for you? Is there something in particular about reading that lends a mystique, or did you get equally excited about walking and putting on socks and all those other milestones?

Comments (19)

There is definitely something about reading. It is miraculous. I think watching a child learn to read makes you realize what a challenge it really is. Sometimes it amazes me that anyone learns to read. The process is mystical. I'm still not sure how it happens. Besides, once they learn to read you have a chance to share all the books you loved as a child.

I agree. We are in the same boat. It is the little steps toward reading but still our five year old will look at sign when we are out and suddenly look amazed that the words make sense. He will shout the words and grin ear to ear and my heart bursts.

We got excited about milestones but I think because reading was such a HUGE part of my childhood I am much more excited to see him achieve this milestone then any other. It opens doors for him previously closed and it just to neat to be able to share some of the amazing stories that carried me away when I was young.

Yes, I totally nerded out over reading. Definitely more so than, say, riding a bike (although I hear Mia gets kudos for that one now, too!)

Go Mia!

First of all, I love reading period. Reading rocks and all of the places they can go in books and all of that BUT the thing that makes me weepy about my kids learning to read is that it means they can do ANYTHING. They can learn anything. There are some people in the world who aren't allowed to learn to read because of the freedom it brings. My children have that freedom - to learn about anything. Anything! How to fix a car, which way to vote, how to tend a garden, how to build a rocket. They can learn about the past they can write so future people can learn about the past. It's the freedom for me, that is magical about learning to read.

Yes, I thought learning to read was magical and astounding and mind-blowing. My girls continue to be very good readers (they're in 2nd grade) and I continue to be in shock and awe over it. Even though, like you said, if they WEREN'T good readers, especially at this point, that's where I should actually be shocked and awed.

Our latest milestone? The girls can now both read to themselves 100% silently, without moving their lips and muttering. So now, instead of them needing to be in separate rooms to read before bed, we all pile onto one bed (I bring my own book) and we all read silently! Can you even believe it? My husband reads to our 4 yr old (in a different room) and I get to PARENT my other two by sitting on their bed reading my own book! It's awesome.

Oh, there is something special about reading. It makes them seem so much more grown up. Physical developments are awesome, and I loved watching my babies hit those milestones, but it's the intellectual development that blows my mind. My son is reading fluently (and silently! too), and he can go anywhere, or do anything, or be anything, when he's reading. I love watching him realize the possibilities.

We haven't hit that milestone yet, but horseback riding and skating have been my biggest stand up and cheer moments.

I am continually amazed that my seven-year-old son can read as well as he does. Both his father and I are avid readers, and we have read to him since the day he was born - you'd think I wouldn't be so surprised. But there you have it: clearly it's a sign of his genius that he is seven and reads (and comprehends) on a third-grade level...right? ;o)

Michael is reading too but what is strange to me is his school doesn't teach phonics. Site words and context and I'm like, sound it out and he is all huh? So while he is definitely reading, I'm no help at all. I'm not sure what they are teaching them.

For me it wasn't the fact that he COULD read, although it was astounding when he started doing it, with inflection and expression and all, it's the fact that he WANTS to read, often silently to himself. It stops me still when I see him pack a book into his backpack in the morning, for something to do before class starts. !! LOVE.

I think the reading thing is pretty darn amazing - it just opens up this whole world of discovery and blah blah maybe I should be a librarian or something haha but I think it's really, really cool :D Go Mia!

This is a great thing. We started early here too. Our teenager loves to read and it is still one of his favorite things to do. I feel this is one of the biggest gifts we can give our kids. A book can teach them things, take them to space, an island and just about anywhere they can imagine. The dividends from reading regularly and well do pay off greatly in school and in life.

Good for Mia!

Ah reading! A window into the imagination! Yes! So, you not only have the most beautiful daughter, but the smartest too, huh?

Since my wife's a teacher, the intangible milestones like reading and math are somehow more meaningful than the tying-the-shoelaces thing. In the latter case, it's rendered obsolete by velcro and slip-ons, anyway; while nothing will ever oust reading as a critical life skill.

And you're so right: It never loses its magic. For us or for them. Thank you for the timely reminder!

It is so awesome to hear them read. Then it dawns on you that you can no longer spell out the things you don't want them to know because they can figure it out. ;)

my kids could both read before they turned 4. strangers were in awe of these tiny little people reading and wondered how we did it. honestly? we read to them, and they were INTERESTED. I remember taking Lauren to her kindergarten assessment and Jamie was just past 2 and he could do most of the things required of a kindergartner! he was obsessed with letters and could find them in anything. carpet with a big circle on it had a 'letter o' on it. he had a bubble blower that had two holes for blowing - that was his 'letter 8'.

just tonight he was reading the TiVo listings and managed to sound out 'Cuddly'. Started by saying 'candy', then 'cuddy' but he got there. he's 4 1/2.

it is truly remarkable to watch a child learn. just tonight lauren, in grade 2, asked me if butterflies hibernate or migrate. i was like 'seriously? you know what that means?'

kids are awesome.

This is exactly why I have taught Kindergarten for 9 years! There is nothing like that moment when they 'get it' and start to's magical and I love that you see that! The world needs more interested, plugged in parents! Good Job Mia! =)

It's pretty magical! Obviously, we are not to that stage QUITE yet, and it seems so far away...I just pray that my kiddo will love reading and the world of books like I do. Even if he likes it half as much, that would probably be enough. So excited for Mia!

But reading is magical, it really is...especially as I don't remember learning how to do it. It's almost as if the magical reading fairy zapped me, and I could read.

I LOVE to read. Books are like old friends and I love everything about books! I will even smell old books because that is just the yummiest smell!
Lord I sound like I need a clinical referral but honestly books are the best!

GO MIA!!!!

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So the Fish Said...

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