Any of you who’ve had kids and grandkids probably know what it’s like to watch a little kid learn how to read. Until yesterday I had not had the experience.

When they arrived to set up the deck, Connor told me he was Hobbes and Michelle was Calvin. I said, “How come you get to be the tiger?”

“We played for it and I lost.”

Personally, I think it’s better to be a tiger, but that’s just me.

Lots of stuff happened in kid time while the project went on. At one point,
Michelle sat in front of me with a well-read Calvin and Hobbes comic book. She read slowly, not totally getting the essence of what the words said, but pointing at the words and sounding them out old-school.

One of the new words was “garden.” I commenced the Socratic method almost instinctively. “Where do flowers grow?”


After a couple failures (this is not university) her mom said, “Sound it out, honey.”

“Gar-den.” She jumped up in delight! “GARDEN!!!”

Then she said down and kept reading to me. I had tears in my eyes at the beauty of this. I looked over at her mom who was kind of teary, too. In my mind I saw the WHOLE WORLD OPEN for Michelle.

P.S. Obviously I’m not a stickler for writing to the prompt.

23 thoughts on “Charmed

  1. Teaching kids to learn to read is a passion, my job. There is nothing better than when a child sees themselves as a reader!

  2. A lovely story. So exciting when the light comes on! And Calvin and Hobbes, one of my all time favorites, right up there with the Far Side!

  3. I remember my son learning to read. I came home to find him sitting on the floor with Harry Potter in his lap. I asked what he was up to, thinking he was too young to be reading that. With a patient look, he said, “reading Harry Potter.” I asked if I could see the book for a minute and asked about the page he had just read, then the page before. I gave the book back and left him alone.

  4. That is exciting! My mother taught me to read (she was a first grade teacher and that was her jam) before I was in kindergarten. I taught my sister to read just as she was going into kindergarten. Reading put us ahead of the curve in so many areas. It really does open the world. So glad you were able to see that door open!

  5. I have a cousin that’s elderly now; she was about 60 when I met her and couldn’t read nor do numbers very well. Simplest math yes, but read a bank statement and figure out how much her pension was, NEVER. Guarantees, Instructions, govt letters, etc., nada. I really gained an appreciation for literacy when I saw how she struggled.

  6. All roads …. 🙂
    My son with dyslexia loves reading. He said that it took him so long to master the skill that it is something he treasures.
    My other son doesn’t like reading. He can never remember what he has just read. I can relate to that! 🙂

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