Last night, you handed me The Fire Engine Book to read as your bedtime story. You turned the last page right before I sat down – you already read it yourself but you wanted to listen again.
My voice traced the words, old grooves in my memory from reading this one hundreds of times to a much younger you. I smiled inwardly as I read the line, the one you always completed on cue with your mispronunciations. You don't react to this page now – you've long forgotten that simple anticipation – though I wouldn't be surprised if the memory is plastered somewhere in your mind, a hazy picture but still up on your wall. You remember everything.
Here's something I'll remember:
Yesterday, we went to the park. You brought along your book. Your chapter book. Not one of those I Can Read books meant for kids your age, but the 80 page mini-novel you had been burning through all day. You couldn't put it down so you curled up in the crawl-through tunnel at the top of the play structure, completely untempted by your sister's games. You finally turned the last page on our drive home and couldn't wait to start the next book in the series.
I thought of myself as a child, toting books to family gatherings, reading instead of doing chores, staying up too late following my beloved Ramona or lost in Narnia or touring Charlie's Chocolate Factory. So many worlds await you, and you haven't even walked through the doors of your first Kindergarten classroom yet. I think you're going to love the school library as much as I did.
This morning, you're up earlier than your sisters. You snuggle next to me on the couch, reading another book. You don't need me to walk you through the pages – you've found the adventure all on your own and I can feel the pride and independence buzzing under your skin when you wonder aloud what's going to happen next.
I can't wait to talk Harry Potter with you.