11 Mar “I had a mother that read to me…”
In the day of the dinosaurs, before cable TV, DVD, VHS, laptop computers, or cell phones, there were once books! Of course I am being facetious, but my children often wonder what I did in my early childhood without videos or cable television. My favorite past-time was reading. It still is.
I lived up a canyon in California when I was growing up. It took a long time to get up and down the canyon from my house to my school, or from my house to the grocery store. But half way down the canyon from our home, were two wonderful things: a fire station and a library! Every week my mom would take my brother and me to the library. We could pick out any book we wanted, and I would usually get about ten! I loved to read. I especially loved the illustrations and the places my imagination would take me when I read. My mom had saved all of her Nancy Drew books from when she was a girl, and the ones she didn’t have, I would check out from the library. That was thrilling to me! I remember spending an entire summer in elementary (primary) school reading every single Nancy Drew book.
My Dad took great pride in his library, and even had an official stamp he would put inside his books: “This book belongs to the library of …” When I was a little older, just as beta and VHS hit the country, I was earning money by memorizing poetry. I’m not talking about 10-12 lines of poetry, I’m talking about two or three pages! I would go into my room with a poem my Dad had asked me to memorize, and spend the day memorizing that poem. There was a feeling of satisfaction and excitement in every line I successfully memorized, and to this day, I believe my good memory stems from all those years of reading good books and memorizing poetry.
When I became a Mom, I read to my children. I didn’t start when they were one or two. No. I bought a book of nursery rhymes for my daughter when she was three months old and would read those to her. Over time, I acquired board books, and other favorites that would catch my children’s eyes when I would take them to the library or bookstore. Sometimes my husband and I would end up reading the same book to our children five or six times before they were satisfied and would lay down to go to sleep. To this day, I am still reading with my youngest. It’s been a little harder to keep my children reading now that they have cell phones, cable, DVD and other forms of entertainment, but once they find a good book to read, or I find a good book for them to read, they are hooked, and nothing can pry them away.
If you’re wondering what to do with your kids these days, READ to them! It’s great to snuggle up with them when they’re little and read a good book that’s their level. As they get older, find a list of books that are age-appropriate for your children and keep them hooked. Let them see you read. If you don’t read, you should. Nothing makes me cringe more than when I hear someone say, “I don’t like to read.” There is a book that fits the interest of everyone, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, biography, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, politics, nature, etc. There are many book clubs too. Ask your children’s teachers or your local librarian or bookseller which books they’d recommend for you or your children, and get reading!