There has been a lot of excitement at Amara’ school recently. The PTA received a $5000 grant from Lowe’s to help Santiago Scholars become Super Readers. They are planning a huge kickoff event for Read Across America over the first week of March. I am thrilled to be on this committee (more on that later). During one of our first committee meetings, Jenna, Amara’s Mommy, was relaying to the other Moms the story of why she loves to read. I love that Jenna tells this story. This is my version.
I missed out on many things when Jenna was growing up. She did too. I was working 70+ hours a week as a district manager for a restaurant chain in Michigan, which meant I wasn’t always was never there to help her with her homework or to tuck her into bed at night. I certainly never got weekends off. I was responsible for 5 stores and they were all many miles apart. I spent much of my working hours on the road driving. Most of the restaurants were at least an hour or two away and often I wasn’t there for very long. So sometimes on the weekend, I would take Jenna with me. She always got lunch (and ice cream) when we got there so she went willingly. She knew the staffs at all the stores. They spoiled her and she loved it.
Still, the drives got long. One of the fun things we did on those trips was to share whatever book I was currently reading – she would read it to me while I drove! My own personal audio book! If she got stuck on a word, she would spell it out. If I thought she should be able to figure out herself, I would encourage her to sound it out. If the word was just too big – I told her what it was and she went on with the story! We kept it fun.
Some of the books probably weren’t “child appropriate”. She was in the 3rd grade at the time and I was really into Stephen King. She loved and vividly remembers reading “Cujo” to me. I don’t think it did her any real harm. It certainly instilled in her a love of reading. She has always been an avid reader with a huge book collection, a Nook and a Kindle! These may not sound like the best of times but we both enjoyed and remember them.
Today, Amara is an avid reader, too with a book collection of her own. Her Daddy is a published author and started her life off by reading to her every night before bed until she finally reached the age of wanting to read to herself. She has been known to fall asleep reading with her lights on, just like her Mommy!
So our love of books and reading is passed to another generation.