Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Reading One by One


She opens a book
And turns its pages
One by one
And you
Delight in each picture.

But it was not always
This way.
In the beginning
You twisted
And turned
And looked
Around,
You grabbed
And chattered
And laughed at the dog,
While mom kept reading,
Savoring each picture,
Softly laughing,
Turning pages
One by one.

Though you played, 
You stayed on her lap,
And the little
By littles
Captivated;
The one
By ones
Enwrapped.

Now
 When mom reads
You melt into her lap,
Sinking into each word
Your mother whispers,
Savoring books
One by one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When I visited my daughter and son-in-law for our grandson's first birthday last week, we were treated to the vision of our birthday boy snuggled in his mom's lap listening to her read a book.  His attention was intense.  He studied every picture, though he was relaxed and leaning back on her in her lap.  She reads 2 books to him every night before he goes to bed, and books "on demand" throughout the day.  He has a stack of board books on the bottom shelf of the coffee table, so that even though he is low to the ground, he can get a book any time he wants to.  Books are an important thing for him.  But I wonder if they would be if he hadn't had them from a very early age...like from day one.  
The day after his birthday, his mom looked over to see him sitting in the Pack n Play with one of his new birthday books open in front of him. He was turning pages, front to back, one at a time, looking at each picture.  When he got to the end, he looked at the back of the book as if to say (as we adults will do with a good book) "What?  That's all?  You're just going to stop the story here?"  Then he turned back a page and lingered on that picture as if savoring the "story" a bit longer.
My daughter is growing a reader.  She started little by little, one by one...here a book, there a book...EVERYWHERE a book, book!

33 comments:

  1. That's an awesome poem!
    And an awesome story. Exactly how to do it.

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    1. Thanks, Andrew. I felt it a privilege to be able to witness this beautiful moment!

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  2. I like "You melt into her lap,/Sinking into each word". Beautiful, Donna. Sweet story, & so, so true. I'm glad you captured this special moment in time.

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    1. It was so special to me! Watching them together in that quiet time was precious.

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  3. What a lovely image and a great reminder that enjoying reading starts early! I'd love to see your poem as part of the "package" parents of newborns take home!

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    1. Mmm...would be good to let new parents know that they can't start too early, and they just have to persevere!

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  4. What a beautiful poem...I'm linking it to my daughter's email. She still has the squirmy worm at 13 months talking(mostly nonsense and 'hola and hi'). Sometimes it is hard not to give up....but I know that she never will. xo nanc

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    1. When I saw them reading so beautifully together, I asked her if it was difficult in the beginning. Yes, he was squirmy, too! Encourage your daughter to just keep it up. It will work, all in their own timing!

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  5. "The little by littles captivated." You captivated me with your little picture and your little poem and your little writing about your little one reading little books and becoming a reader. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Our visit was short, but full of so many blessings!

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  6. What a beautiful slice! I wish all children had parents who cared about growing readers the way your family does. The picture, the poem, the sentiment...all precious.

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    1. It was so wonderful to witness - took my breath away!

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  7. Donna,
    I love the poem. I love that you shared how your daughter is growing this little reader! It is so precious to see the miracle that unfolds before our eyes when the little people begin to take hold of something so many people take for granted.
    Thanks for sharing...
    I hope he is always blessed with books to read throughout his life.
    Happy Birthday little guy!

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  8. Thanks, Amy! His mom is pretty determined to provide him with books! She's gone to great lengths to get him piles of practically new books for very little money by shopping the resale places where she lives.

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  9. LOVE THE POEM DONNA! I now see how our slices this week connect. Wow! Thanks for sharing the photo as well as the back story in prose.

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    1. Exciting times! I'm so glad you got the video with audio. Our grandson was just starting to make word-noises when he read on his own, but not nearly as vocal as your sweetie. I'll have to see if my daughter can capture a moment like that sometime, too. It is such a wonderful moment to see the beginnings of reading like that!

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  10. What a beautiful post and such great observations!

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    1. Thanks, Juliann. Fun to observe, too!

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  11. That was truly beautiful. I loved the poem - it evoked memories of my own children transforming from wigglers into readers.

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    1. Grandchildren have a way of bringing up great memories!

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  12. Wow, that's amazing to see your grandson growing into a reader already! I hope that I can do that with my future kids one day. :) Your poem was lovely as well.
    --jee young

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    1. It will happen. It just takes time, patience, love and plenty of books!

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    1. Oh, I'm missing them something fierce now! Wish they lived closer.

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  14. What a great picture...and what a great poem!! PERFECT!! (Lucky boy!!)

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    1. I really like that picture too. Think I'll have to print it up and frame it!

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  15. What a lovely chapter in life you have written about, great poem!

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    1. Thanks! Grandparenting is wicked awesome.

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  16. Oh my, how lovely is that poem! I am struggling with reading with my two-year-old twin boys, who like books but want me to read two things at the same time, who mangle books, who won't sit in my lap for reading, who make reading time a very noisy affair. I'm trying to have patience and am looking forward to a time when the little by littles captivate! It's coming, right? :)

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    1. Thanks, Renee! I see you are still checking in while on break! Keep persevering with the twins! Just a suggestion ( and maybe you already do this) but separate their readings. Do one on ones. Nap time rotations extra person to read to the other in a different room. I can't imagine trying to read to 2 at a time to start out. They'd be a distraction to each other. Let me know when the little by littles get to them! So exciting.

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  17. I love the poem. I can still feel my own four children melting into my arms to listen, some more intense than the others. Now my grandchildren sit enthralled with books, too. Such a wonderful heritage to pass along.

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  18. I just love that photograph - it draws you in to the marvelous story that is how one learns to love reading: a loving parent, a cozy lap, a book filled with beautiful pictures and lovely sounds. That last verse just made me melt! Thanks for sharing this!

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