There’s this sweet spot in my day when I come home frazzled and frantic, itching to put the groceries away, to get the kid set up with homework, to get dinner started and to get the house cleaned up a tiny bit before my wife comes home from work and starts to think I actually do watch Ellen all day while stuffing my face with bon-bons.
Sweet, you say?
I hustle with the groceries toward the kitchen, telling my daughter to make herself busy and almost invariably, five minutes later, I can find her sitting in her little red chair in her corner of the living room, flipping through the pages of a well-worn book. It gives me chills every time I see this, knowing she’s on the first steps toward so many adventures. My reading chair is right beside hers, and I flash forward to the future sometimes, wondering what books she’s going to be into later in the year, next year and the year after. I think of her spritely limbs growing longer and falling off her red chair before she climbs into mine with a good book. This is what my heaven looks like, imagining the two of us in the living room, absorbed in our favorite books.
Which is all to say that Read Across America Day is coming March 2 and we’re treating it like a national holiday. The event started in the 1980s and falls on the birthday of Dr. Seuss, who doesn’t really need an introduction, does he? If you want a kid to mess around and play with words, to see that new worlds and creatures can be created, to see that reading can be fun, then this is the guy to start with. (Interestingly, Read Across America Day also falls on the opening day of The Lorax movie, which I’ll discuss in another post this week about reading and movie remakes.)
I was looking for things to do with my daughter and, potentially, her kindergarten class on Read Across America Day and came across these suggestions from the group behind the day. They all sound great and useful and fun, but I particularly like the idea of just reading in front of my daughter, not necessarily to her, although we do that too. But good modeling is not a one-day-a-year thing, it’s almost an everyday occurrence — this idea that relaxation and fun can be had in the form of books. But that said, we will definitely be thumbing through a book together on March 2.
How about you? How do you try to pass on a love of books to the kiddos?