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.