Friday, March 6, 2009
One of the things I hope to pass on to Penny is my love for books and reading. Even when she was very little, Penny liked looking at pictures in books. When she was old enough to sit up, she started pointing to faces on the pages. Now she can turn the pages on her own.
This may sound a little weird, but my fondness for books germinated when I was potty training because I figured out how to carry a whole stack of books with me to the bathroom so I could look at them while I sat on my little pot. The first book my dad and I read aloud together was Alice and Wonderland, followed by The Hobbit. My mom took us to the library and we checked out books every other week.
I can remember that as an idle teenager, if my dad heard me complain of boredom, he would give me a copy of Animal Farm or Lord of the Flies and tell me to stop complaining. (And as a surly teen, I felt rather uncool about this, and I remember deliberately SCOFFING at my dad when he dared to suggest that I take Brave New World with me to the 8th grade dance. "Dad, I'm TRYING to get boys to like me!") On summer evenings, my family would get out the Collected Works of William Shakespeare, choose a play, divide up the parts, and read an act or two. Yes, I was born a nerd to a family of nerds. And we still have good reading material in the bathroom.
Giving the baby a kiss, a cute new thing we do.
For my office baby shower, my boss gave me a copy of "The Read Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease, with a personal note inscribed to me on the inside cover: "Reading is one of the lifelong gifts you can give to your daughter." The Treasury of Read-Aloud books listed in the back is fantastic. Some books I had forgotten about, many books I've yet to read. It's nice to have as a quick reference and I'm sure it will get a lot of use on future trips to the library. Especially if Penny ever complains of boredom.
Who can resist those cheeks? NOM NOM NOM.
It's not just that I want Penny to be smart, in that stereotypical bookworm way, it's that I want to foster her imagination and her creativity. I think about the positive impact books had on me and my development, my artistic abilities, and my writing skills, and that's exactly what I want for her. This is just the beginning of something really, really cool.