This year I was a judge for the Cybils Awards, in the category of Fiction Picture Books. Publishers sent me many picture books to consider (the ones my library didn’t have).
The majority of those are going to the library. But I selected the best to send to my two toddler nieces — and to my Mom. My Mom has Alzheimer’s. My sister, who helps my Dad care for her, requested board books or very simple picture books for Mom. Apparently she can still read those.
I’m not sure the ones I sent are simple enough. But I hope so. I hope they will bring her some joy.
And that got me reflecting.
My Mom was the one who taught me to read. Long before teachers got hold of me. (I can still remember when I could read a particular set of word cards she’d made for me. And her delight. One of the words was yellow.)
My Mom was the one who taught me, by example, to read aloud to small children with expression, with joy, and with love.
I am sure I still slip into her cadences when reading aloud to children at the library.
It was my Mom’s idea to have all her kids take naps for an hour every day — but we could read during that time; we didn’t have to sleep. Thus she got me in the habit of reading for at least an hour each day.
My Mom always wrote in each book she read the date she finished reading it. (At least books she owned!) Whenever she gave a book, she wrote to the giftee in the front, and insisted we do the same when we gave books to her. So each book chosen last night was inscribed to her.
Yes, parents can instill a love of reading in their kids. My Mom sure did!
And now, I hope that reading these simple, lovely books I’m sending will give her some joy.
And I have to also say that I’m so thankful for my Dad, who takes tender loving care of her, even though she’s definitely not the woman he married any longer. And I’m thankful for my sister who lives there and helps.
Merry Christmas, Mom! Thank you for the positive way you shaped my life.