Thursday, November 09, 2006

Amazing Child

I know PC uses that term to refer to her daughter but tonight I'm going to have to borrow the title. My baby girl (Sweet Pea) learned to read. It was one of the best nights of my life, watching my little girl run through the words of Dick and Jane. My mom found a compilation book of stories and because we all learned to read with them, got them for the grandchildren.

We stayed up thirty minutes past bedtime tonight just so she could work through more pages. To see the delight, the pride, in her face when she got to a word she didn't know and fought through sounding it out all by herself...that was simply amazing, for her and for me.

Reading is important to me, because I love it, because I write, because it's a necessary life skill. But it wasn't always easy for me. As I got older, we put several clues together and realized that I probably have dyslexia. I was never diagnosed as a child but looking back it makes sense. It also runs in my family, although mostly with the boys, which is possibly why it never occurred to my parents. That and the fact that I never told them I was struggling. I just worked harder until I figured out how to catch up to the other kids in my class.

And maybe that's why this is such an important step for me to watch her make. She's actually shown some signs of dyslexia, although I'm told most kindergartener's do. Listening to her tonight though, I know that it won't matter. She wanted to read, wanted it so badly because she's such an independent, stubborn little thing and wants to be able to read books to herself in bed long after bedtime. I have to laugh because she reminds me so much of myself. I suppose it won't be long until she's coming to the breakfast table bleary eyed for school because she stayed up until 1AM reading for that happy ending.

What milestones, in your life or your children's, do you remember most?


Don't forget, I'll be choosing one commenter to win in our book-a-day giveaway!

P.S. Cheryl was the winner of the scavenger hunt. She optimistically included her snail mail address with her entry so PM will mail her book to her ASAP. Congratulations!

And for those who are wondering, the correct answers to the questions are as follows:

1. What happened on June 8, 2006? Playground Monitor's granddaughter was born.

2. What Broadway show did Smarty Pants see in March 2006? Monty Python's Spamalot

3. Who got a new kitten in September 2006? Instigator

4. Who posted the very first entry in this blog and what was the date? Problem Child on November 14, 2005

5. In January 2006, Angel posted about something that could have derailed the Playfriends' field trip. What was it? A drug bust the night before. The police raided a meth lab in actual operation in the hotel room adjacent to the Playfriends.


Playground Monitor said...

Oh wow! Reading! A whole new world will open up to her now.

What milestones do I remember from my boys' lives? I remember #1 son winning the freshman city cross country championship. I remember when he called to tell us he was proposing to his girlfriend, when he called to tell us we were going to be grandparents and when he called to tell us the baby was on the way and I'd better get in the car and drive to Birmingham.

I remember #2 son winning his first race at age 5, winning 3 gold medals and a silver medal at the state indoor championships his senior year in high school and being named MVP and I remember watching him walk across the stage last May and receive his university diploma.

There have been so many milestones in their lives, each important in its own way and each contributing to make them the fine men they are today.

In my own life, I remember being proposed to and then walking down the aisle, learning I was pregnant, giving birth, moving thousands of miles overseas, sending the boys off to college and surviving it, watching my own son walk down the aisle and not crying. Well not too much. *g* And I remember that first short story contract I received in the mail. I did the happy dance around the kitchen, called the DH on the phone and then emailed everyone I knew.

I just hope I can keep making milestones for a long, long time.

Minna said...

Congrats Cheryl!

Maureen said...

Congratulations to your amazing daughter on that accomplishment. When my children were in grade school they taught them to read much differently than I had learned so there were some tough times when I was trying to work with them and it didn't coincide with what they were learning in school.

Problem Child said...

Reading...ahhh, the most wonderful gift you can give a child.

Want to hear something sad? I was talking with a student who told me he didn't read. Not books, not magazines, not newspapers, not anything if he could possibly help it. Radio and TV were it. ACK! I cannot imagine life without reading (and I'm sorry, text messages don't count as reading.)

'Course, that did explain a lot about the assignment he did so poorly on....

Not only is reading important for learning new things and providing quiet, non-electronic entertainment for yourself, it's good for your brain. Reading other's (properly written) work teaches grammar and structure and organziation without me having to pull out the dreaded worksheets for drill-and-kill.

Congrats to Sweet Pea! May she love reading as much as her mama.

Carol said...

Congrats Cheryl!

Congrats on your daughter learning to read! That's wonderful! I still remember Dick and Jane and Spot, too. lol

Smarty Pants said...

Its funny things you remember as a kid that stand out. Not sure they're all milestones, but each of them are distinct points in my life. I recall when I got to move up from the angel choir to one of Mary's handmaidens in the church Christmas pagent. I remember seeing the ocean for the first time. I remember when I got to jump off the high dive for the first time at school. I remember when I got my first solo in choir.

High school graduation and all that weren't that important to me. It's the little things, honestly.

On another note, last night when I went into the gym, the owner announced that I am officially the smartest woman at Curves. :) A couple weeks ago, they started reading trivial pursuit cards out while we're exercising and I was getting quite a few right. Apparently they've been doing trivia on nights I'm not there as well and no one has even come close to getting as many right as me! Smarty Pants Rules!


Sassy35803 said...

The milestone I think currently sticks out in my head is walking into my kids room and watching my 7 yr. old son read to my 5 yr. old daughter and then hearing her correct him and hearing him giggle and say I was checking to see if you were paying attention the same way I would do them.

Jennifer Y. said...

I do not have kids, but my nephew also recently learned to read...he was so proud of himself.

The first book I ever remember reading on my own was Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. I may have read other smaller or beginner books before then, but this one I remember reading vividly. A couple of years ago, my parents gave a copy of that book to me for still sits on my bookshelf. I have always loved reading and books and can't imagine life without them.

bamabelle said...

My daughter is actually accomplishing that same milestone, and it is amazing! Abbey is learning to read, and we have been using the early reading books including Dick and Jane too. Reading has always given me so much joy, and it is so exciting to see the pride she has in herself when she sounds out a difficult word on her own. My son is pre-school, but he is already very good with numbers and loves anything strategic. Congratuations to your little girl and you! It really is a special time. :)

Congratulations Cheryl as well!

ellie said...

My youngest son has an ability to learn languages easily which was evident when he was young. Because of this he was put into French Immersion from Kindergarten on. It was so unbelievable to hear him speak perfect French with the accent from 4 years old.

Meljprincess said...

When I survived breast cancer. That one I really remember. *whew*

Congrats Cheryl!

Angel said...

My daughter actually learned to read the week before I went to a writer's conference last year. While there, I bought her a children's book about fairies that I had the author sign. She was so excited when I brought it home!

Something amazing happened to me a few days ago... a milestone of sorts. Drama Queen's teacher had called the house when I wasn't here and left a message, though she wasn't sure if it was our home because I have a business message on our phone. She asked DQ what I did for a living. She replied, "I'm not sure. But my mom's a writer."

Only another writer can understand how awesome that feels!!!!! My Mom's a writer! That's right. I certainly am.


alissa said...

When my sons were learning how to swim it was a real accomplishment for them to finally realize that they had achieved that goal.

CrystalG said...

I don't have children. The milestones I remember the most are getting drivers license, graduating high school and college.

catslady said...

My oldest daughter just graduated from Penn State University - she's had some nice awards along the way and now we're just waiting for that first job :)Reading was one of her favorite things to do. My youngest is still in college and has won many art awards and hopes to make it her career.

Debby said...

All my kids are readers except my middle one. For some reason she never wnated to read. Sheis 20 now nad doing fine.