I am a reader. I can’t start a book without neglecting my kids and house for at least three days while I power through it. Before you go calling CPS, I may have been over exaggerating a bit. The house suffers. That part was entirely true. My kids are fine though, I swear.
Much of what I know has crept off the pages of a book and into my mind where it lingers and occupies my brain for awhile, sometimes forever. I want my children to be endlessly curious, always seeking out more information. I want them to escape into another world and believe in things that they cannot see. I want them to see things from another point of view-one far away from home or even reality.
I want them to be readers.
Together we have soared to Neverland, howled at the moon with Wild Things, explored the hidden world inside of a peach, and learned a lot about friendships and bedtime routines.
Eldon is going into Kindergarten this year and soon he will be reading the books to me. As any parent with school age children knows and remembers, bittersweet doesn’t even begin to cover it. I am so grateful to the world’s children’s book authors for their hand in raising my son and preparing him for the real world. They are unknowingly part of our “village” and as he enters school, I can rest assured that his soul has been nourished by the hands of many brilliant minds and that he has already learned some big stuff.
Here is a short list of such stuff.
Things my 5 year learned from being read to:
1. Nobody loves you like your mama. She will always be your biggest fan and when you run off on some island adventure for over a year, she will have hot supper waiting in anticipation of your return.
2. Some days suck. Nothing goes right and your feelings get hurt. All we can do is look to a better tomorrow because that’s just the way it is…even across the world where the stars hang upside down and the toilet water swirls in a different direction.
3. People are different but have so much more in common than they think they do. In every country, love is the same and so is hurt. Also, everyone poops. (even bugs)
4. “You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed. You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest….except when you don't. Because, sometimes, you won't.” –Dr. Seuss
(yep, straight outta the book. We simply do not paraphrase Dr. Seuss. It just isn’t done.)
5. While some people (and trees) might be happy to give you everything they have, it is always wise to be mindful of how often you take, and always give something in return. Otherwise, the time will come when all they can offer you is a stump to sit on.
6. A good imagination, a good book, or perhaps even a purple crayon can take you on a wild adventure, if you’re brave enough. Sometimes you need to adapt and solve problems on your own if you are going to reach your destination.
7. Caterpillars have no self control whatsoever. They just eat everything they can find until they feel like crap.
8. Stay positive. Some things are HARD work. Keep at it, and remember that if you think you CAN, you can.
9. Having an overabundance of something (such as rainbow scales) won’t make people like you. To get good friends, you have to be one and spreading the wealth makes every fish happier and the sea even more beautiful.
10. YOU are special. There is only one you in this entire world. YOU are enough. Just be yourself and don’t ever try to act like someone else’s “you.” It never works, and people like you just the way you are anyway.