A whole new world

NS November 21st, 2010

Tonight, my daughter, you entered another world without me.

Right there at the dining room table, while your brother slept and your father was at work, you sat beside me, your face alight with concentration and joy, and jumped down the rabbit hole with both feet. You never got frustrated or scared or said you couldn’t do it, never sighed or tutted or acted as if your work was a chore.

You sounded out each letter, then each word, on every page in that 6-page book. You did it all by yourself, with only the tiniest prompts from me. You even stopped to comment on and empathise with the dog in the story with the wounded paw on his way to the vet. You can now READ the words ‘dog’ and ‘vet’ without help from me.

I’ll say it again because I believe they are the most wonderful words that have ever come out of my mouth: YOU CAN READ.

Though you perhaps don’t realise it yet, a whole new world so vast and magical and mind-blowing is opening up before you. Like a stone rolling down a hill or a room with endless doors, the potential within you is gathering speed, waiting to burst forth and transport you to places you could’ve never possibly dreamed of before.

And I am so proud I could burst.

One day soon, when you’ve got your nose in a book and aren’t really listening to me, when you don’t need my help at all, I will recount my life-long love affair with books, starting, as you have, with a simple story about a dog. I will try to convey to you how much comfort, knowledge and confidence I acquired through reading and how it changed me forever. I will remember all the times in my life when reading helped me,  sheltered me, saved me.

Hopefully you won’t pay me any attention because you will be too busy reading.

Welcome to the rabbit hole, my darling girl. I hope you enjoy the free-fall as much as I have.

22 Responses to “A whole new world”

  1. Geekymummy says:

    Fantastic!! I relate completely, am so excited for my own kids to begin reading. To this day nothing gives me more pleasure

  2. Expat Mum says:

    Aaah – next comes reading all the signs about where you can and can’t park, and giving you a lecture about it. Or reading your e-mails over your shoulder! Gotta love it!

    NS Reply:

    @Expat Mum, So much to look forward to! :)

  3. sandrine says:

    This is great! When my daughter pulled that trick, she chose Green Eggs and Ham, and read out the whole book, painstakingly, just as I was on my way out to meet my husband at the pub (my mother was going to babysit). Needless to say, I don’t remember anything else from that night, despite the fact it was one of our very rare nights out together. Max also learned to read this summer – he’s 8 – and everytime he reads a page from a book, it feels like a small miracle. He only reads in French and Turkish now, but yesterday tried his hand at One Fish Two fish, and it was amazing to hear him try and sound the words in English. Sorry to be gushing about my own children here! I wish you and your daughters many happy hours sitting side by side, reading, or arguing about your interpretations of stories.
    sandrine´s last blog ..Why you shouldnt just turn away when you see Ive posted about zombies- againMy ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @sandrine, Thank you. And how lovely that your children are going to be trilingual! Amazing what they are capable of.

  4. That’s utterly wonderful – you are right to be proud, she’s standing at the start of a wonderful path strewn with fabulous books!

    I can’t wait until mine make this huge leap
    Muddling Along´s last blog ..I believe in freedom to choose but is this choiceMy ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @Muddling Along, Thanks. And I’m sure it won’t be long before you’re right there too.

  5. jen says:

    how exciting! which books can you not wait to introduce her to?
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    NS Reply:

    @jen, I can’t wait to introduce her to poetry, most of all. I absolutely loved it as a child.

  6. That’s wonderful. Littleboy 1 has just started to read a few words, and it makes me so excited for him. I spent so much of my childhood with my nose in a book, and I really hope it will be the same for my boys.
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  7. platespinner says:

    Oh, how wonderful! I am so looking forward to teaching monkey how to read. I too spent the majority of my childhood reading and can’t wait to watch her discover the rabbit hole.
    platespinner´s last blog ..Babies- Books and Home Birth not necessarily in that orderMy ComLuv Profile

  8. andrea says:

    i’m so excited for her! knowing her love of stories and her great imagination, i think she’ll love reading as much as her mummy!
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  9. I’ve been reading to LLC since the day she was born in hopes that she’ll take to it like I have my whole life. At only 10 months she’s got a long journey ahead before she actually reads but she does like to listen to stories, turns the pages by herself and will sit babbling with a book for quite awhile – all good signs!
    Tanya (Bump2Basics)´s last blog ..Like mother- like daughterMy ComLuv Profile

  10. Courtney says:

    How beautifully written, and how beautiful your daughter can READ. Absolutely loved reading the joy and pride in this post, and am as happy for you as I am for her!

    NS Reply:

    @Courtney, Thank you Courtney, that means a lot. I am indeed so proud!

  11. Andrea says:

    SO AWESOME! Remember, Noble Daughter: You have to learn to read in order to find out what they don’t want you to know :)

    NS Reply:

    @Andrea, So very, very true. Wise words, Andrea!

  12. A Free Man says:

    Very cool! I’ve been wondering how you teach kids to read. Mine are still a bit young, but it seems an impossible task. Clearly not. Well done!
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  13. Capital Mom says:

    That is wonderful!
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  14. Carrie says:

    Congratulations to you and especially your girl, who now had a key to another worlds=)

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  16. Only just seen this and wanted to comment. How beautifully written and how wonderful for NS. It is such an amazing ability to have and really does change your world completely. Rosemary is still somewhat hit and miss and has become a bit reluctant all of a sudden – mostly, I think because the reading books are so boring. Now and then, though, she realises she can read a word and is very excited about it. The thing is Chris and I both know how much it will change her world, that we may be pushing a little too hard! It can be hard to tell the difference between pushing and challenging, sometimes.
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