One of the most memorable moments in your 12 short months so far has been the day I sat you in my lap, I opened up my old, battered edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and began reading aloud to you. It was the same one I read myself when I was 10, the same one I hope to read you many times before you read it by yourself and it meant everything to me.
For about a month when you were teeny tiny and barely able to keep your eyes open to see the pictures of a board book, I would sit in our rocking chair in your room (that my mom read to me in, and her mom read to her in) and softly read to you the tales of a boy finding himself and saving his friends. Of courage and curiosity, of gains and losses, of family, friends and loyalty.
We still read some of my favorites, slowly working through the Harry Potter series (I know soon I will have to stop and start again when you’re at an age where the tales of magic and slight horror won’t scare you) and my old Shel Silverstein poem books, but now we also read some of your own favorites: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, I Love You Stinky Face, and Dig! at the moment. Each night before bed we cuddle as I read you stories while you turn the pages and smile.
Ryan, if I can give on you any gift, any gift at all, it would be to give you the gift of reading. The gift of loving a good book.
There is no greater release in life than opening a book, melting into it, and losing yourself in the words before you. You can go to the most magical places through a book; you can go to far off lands and ancient places, new countries and imaginary worlds. You can live through others’ joy and triumph and experience others’ fear and sorrow. You can learn and grow and redefine your life with the help of a book.
It’s so important to me to build you a library and help you learn for yourself how beautiful books are. Your daddy doesn’t understand my love for books, the love that I learned from my own parents. I hope that one day reading will be our special bond, the way that Harry Potter books will always remind me of your Grandpa, and heartbreaking autobiographies will always be what I share with your Gammie. I hope that when I say we’re taking a quick trip to the library, you keep me there for hours, reading books and carefully choosing your haul for the week. I hope that I have to take away the flashlight you keep under your pillow for late night reading after lights out.
I hope you’re a reader, Ryan, and I’ll do everything in my power to give you the opportunity to become one.
This week I’m linking up with the awesome Amanda for Thinking Out Loud.
Are you a reader? Was reading important in your family as a child? What are some of the books that still give you chills? Let me know in the comments!