I’m trying to decide what I want to remember the most …
The way her small hands gripped the book, carefully turning each page?
The way she laughed at the line, “What is wrong with that guy?”
Her quiet voice, becoming stronger with each word. (Watching as the confidence built up inside her.)
“You can pet her,” she said, taking a break from reading to remind me that I could pet Mimi, the therapy dog.
“I know, but I like watching you read,” I said.
Yeah — that’s what I want to remember most, I think.
My newly 7-year-old is a reader.
It’s official. It’s officially, absolutely, positively, certifiably without-a-doubt for sure official.
Today, she chose a book she had never read before. She sat down in front of a black standard poodle named Mimi, and she read. She read words I didn’t know she could read.
I tried not to cry. I managed not to stand up and cheer.
I felt a little bit of a deep breath escape from my chest. I’ve never taught a child to read. My son surprised us all when he pointed to a word one day and asked if it said “universe.”
“Yes,” I said. “What other words can you read?”
“All of them,” he said, and he wasn’t really exaggerating.
And so, there have been times when I’ve wondered if I would be able to teach my daughter to read — if I would have the skills.
Maybe I am thinking about this wrong, I started to consider in September when we signed up for the read-to-a-dog program at the library. After 4 weeks, she was sounding out words on her own, pausing every now and then to ask me for help.
Something about those sweet, loving pup eyes, the non-judgemental presence, helped what was already starting to blossom.
What if I step back? I wondered. What if it’s like bikes and shoes? What if this too, will happen in its own time?
I am reminded each day that our children are amazing. They each have gifts. They each have strengths.
They are each so capable, and when we can let go, there is so much they will figure out in their own way, when they are ready.
I’m feeling a mixture of pride, relief, joy and excitement here tonight. I’m not sure how I should be feeling, but that’s how it is, so it’s probably mostly as it should be.
My little girl feels proud and excited, and I know as certainly as I know that she’s a reader, I know that’s exactly how it should be.
What do I want to remember? I want to remember this feeling of peace in the amazing days, months and years ahead with my kids.
It so often works out, without us making it so.
Sometimes our job is to simply watch as what should be unfolds right in front of our eyes.
Sometimes, we need to be more parent than teacher.
Sometimes we need to do nothing more than to believe that it will be OK.