Every little thing I have done as a mother of two daughters has made me happy, but the best thing which I enjoyed was to read for them. Whatever work I had to do around the house would go on a pause for this important bonding time between us.
Starting with alphabet books, one line per page stories, picture books, Panchatantra, Fairy tales, I read aloud almost any book I could get for them. Even after my girls started reading books on their own, there was this special reading time on the bed, spent on me reading their favourite story.
I still remember the book 50 Bedtime Stories, which used to be their favourite one.
They knew every story, every character depicted as pictures, every emotion of the characters!!! And sometimes the response from the girls will also be the same. But they loved me to read it for them. And I considered it a blessing to cuddle around in the bed, under the comfort of a rug, two little heads resting on my shoulders, the soft smiles and popping eyes of the girls!!! Actually there is a better word – contentment.
There was always a book available around to read during eating times too. And later the girls started packing a book to read while travelling to school by bus. Even the train travels are never done without a book; the scenery fades away fast beside us but the words in the books stay with us forever!!!
When as a family we visit book stores, my girls used to walk towards the kids book section, instead of the toys or dolls. The excitement of finding a new book which they like is just tremendous for me. And the loads of Enid Blyton are still a treasured item in the house. Who will not love those fantasy filled stories by Blyton? It’s like a comfort book, where you can go to re-live a moment from the past – your childhood.
Buying books found no reason or treason, with us. We use to visit stores just like that and pick up any book the girls like to read.
There used to be an Open house kind of thing after every month in the school my girls went to, where the teachers met with the parents and gave their Assessment card. We go to the Open House, get all thrilled and happy with the teachers praising our girls and to treat them, we bought them books. And so there started a tradition, which we still continue.
This amount of reading books shows in their wonderful vocabulary, while writing their English essays in school. The English exams are full of grammar and comprehension exercises and the book reading habit has really helped the girls to fare better than their counterparts.
And over the years, we have had many arguments over characters in the book, especially during the HP days. It was a pleasure talking and quizzing them on the spells and the names of characters.
Over the recent times, when the girls have matured to read books of different genre, I talk to them about the characters, to take the good things and leave behind the bad ones. It’s very important to allow them to read, instead of saying a blunt No to a book. My daughter will come to me if she finds any part of the book uncomfortable to read. Then we discuss it out so that she can continue her reading. This helps her to analyze a book, not based on the cover.
Now, I don’t have space to store all the books we three girls own. We keep making space wherever we can, but we don’t stop buying.
After all, a book worm is satisfied that she has bred two book worms, successfully.
Uma Srinivasan is a mother of two teenagers. While she loves to blog, her daughters help her don hats like Chef / Baker / Parenting Consultant and many more. She manages three blogs, http://umsreflections.wordpress.com – Blog on parenting & every-day conversations, http://umaschennai.wordpress.com – My attempt to fall in love with this city called Chennai and http://umasfoodtales.wordpress.com – Attempt at sharing my recipes with the world.