Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reading is still FUNdamental

My daughter sent me this photo from her phone's camera this afternoon, and I just had to share. As an avid reader, not to mention an author, it makes my heart soar to see a child enjoying a storybook. This child is definitely a chip off her grandmom's block :) When she was born, 13 1/2 weeks early, doctors told those of us who weren't allowed to touch her yet that the best thing we could do for her was to read. It didn't matter what we read, they assured us, we just needed to read to her. Reading would be the best way for us to assist in her development. When she contracted meningitis a couple of weeks later, we were told that she was almost certain to have some brain damage; yet she's developing normally, with only very minor complications from her early physical challenges. Doctors who see her now are astounded to learn that she started life so small and that she fought such incredible odds to be here. A couple of days ago, I told her that I'd be coming to her house to visit soon and I said I wanted to play when I came down there. She said, "I want to play too, Ooma." "Well, of course," I told her. "We'll play together. And we can read books, too. Do you want to read books?" "Uh-huh," she said, and then she paused. "I want to read a story," she told me firmly. And, of course, I assured her we would do exactly that. We'll probably never know whether she inherited her love of books from family members who would rather read than sleep, or if having been read to for hours while she was in the NICU out of storybooks, issues of the Romance Writers' Report, mystery novels, and non-fiction books about Egypt sparked that love in her. But there's no denying that the thing this child loves most is a good book. Wouldn't it be great if more kids felt that way?

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