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Reading - A Gift for All Ages

Reading - A Gift for All Ages

There he was at our table: a little, blonde-haired, big, blue-eyed cutie pie sitting between his parents.  

This past weekend, my hubby and I sat down and had a great conversation at a family wedding. We were oohing and ahhhhing over that little boy at our table.  We talked with his parents about life,  jobs, kids, the newlyweds, and much more.  At the end of the night, the dad turned to me and asked the pointed question: “What should we do to help our son be successful in school?"  

I didn’t hesitate.

"Read to him."

Read everything.  Song lyrics, Bible stories, short stories, picture books, magazines.  Anything and everything, but, for sure, read daily.  Here are few great reasons why.


Reading is vitally important.  Take it from me – a third grade teacher who sees it all – your daily habit of reading will help your child succeed.  

First, and foremost, it teaches your child that reading is important.  Reading is fun!  Reading is like a mini-movie in your mind, which will become a great strategy for helping to build comprehension and understanding of a story later.  And believe me when I say that little kids understand a lot more than we think they do.  

Think of this: have you ever asked a little one, “What sound does a dog make?"  Even little ones, just over one year old will often reply, “Woof woof.”  

Huh?  How did that happen?  Well, they remember it being taught to them, or exposure to that relationship of dog and sound over and over again has allowed them to remember and recall it.  

It’s the same with reading.  Consistent exposure to wonderful words will build your child’s brain, vocabulary, critical thinking skills and more.  Reading is the gift that truly keeps on giving.

Now, have you ever thought, "I just don’t have time to read to my kiddo tonight?”  I know I sure have.  I remember the crazy, busy days of babies or toddlers and diapers and play dates and diapers and dishes and diapers.  It didn’t seem like the craziness would ever end, but it did.  And now… I am so glad that we took those extra moments to cuddle with our little ones to read, even if they were up past their bedtime by a few minutes.  


And as Kate DiCamillo once said …

Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty.

It should be offered as a gift. 

Motherhood - The Toughest Job You'll Ever LOVE

Motherhood - The Toughest Job You'll Ever LOVE

Motherhood –The Toughest Job You’ll Ever LOVE

I remember it like it was yesterday.  I had this sweet, little, blonde-haired, blue-eyed treasure.  I had just put her down to bed and I promptly called my mom. 

“Mom??? “  I cried into the phone, “Help me!!!  I don’t know what to do with this little one.”  She politely laughed and said, “Don’t worry, babe.  She will be fine and so will you.”  Wise words from a very wise woman.

Now, believe me.  I didn’t always think my mom was wise.  When I was a teenager, I was completely sure that she was not wise at all.  HA!  Little did I know, but my mom actually did know it all. And I didn't.  

Motherhood is like that.  It’s the job that once you have it figured out, the little one changes and now you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing at all.  Can anyone relate?

Well, in my 20 some years as a mom, I have figured out a few things.

  1. They don’t come with a manual

They don’t!  It’s the most "On the job" training job I’ve ever done.  But, somehow you figure it out and it all does get better.  I didn’t say it gets easier, but definitely better.

  1. Memorize this Phrase: This too Shall Pass

I remember going to a MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers).  My oldest daughter was very young and I was trying hard to figure out this motherhood thing.  I remember thinking, “Gosh, something is definitely wrong with my girl.”  She didn’t want to nap and she was only just 2.  When she was 3, she had strong opinions and an equally strong will. I thought something was either wrong with her or me.  I just wasn’t sure which.

And, then, as I went to MOPS and talked with other moms, I realized...she’s normal.  You mean, all little kids do these things? Yep!  Most do.  It was a huge ephiphany for me.  It was then that a wise friend at MOPS told me, “This too shall pass.”  And, you know what?  She was right.  That little stubborn 3 year old girl is now 21 and almost finished with college.  And she turned out pretty well.  

  1. Give yourself Room to Grow

Refer to 1.  We, as new parents or even seasoned parents, simply don't know what we are doing most of the time.  I often told our oldest daughter, “I’m sorry.  I’ve never been a parent before you, so I am figuring it out too.”  Give yourself room to make mistakes.  Understand that you don’t have to be a perfect parent, just be a parent.  The rest will come along the way.  And – don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  We all do and we learn from them. 

Oh – super important.  Be willing to say I’m sorry.  These two small, powerful words will speak volumes to your child about how much you love and treasure them.  Use them often.


And some food for thought: 

Mother is the name for

God in the lips and hearts of little children. –

By William Makepeace Thackeray


Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Community is Key

Community is Key

A child needs to learn early on that good people will catch them if they fall. And so do moms. And that is a lesson we learned the hardest way possible.


My children’s first day of life was spent in the NICU with an amazing team of nurses and doctors, while I lay immobile in a hospital bed. Quite suddenly, like a baptism by fire, I realized this parenting journey was not meant to be done alone. My precious little boys lived because other people--strangers at the time--took care of them. They watched, fed, changed, and even sang to them. While my amazing husband was torn between caring for me and caring for his babies, all of us in critical condition, we had other people meeting our family’s needs. From our first moments as parents, we learned that we were not going to be the only ones raising our children.

It has become one of my life’s greatest joys to watch my boys smile when they hear someone else’s voice telling them that they are special. When their Nanna walks in and scoops them up with “I love you” and “I’ve missed you.” Or when my boys want to send videos every single day to their favorite friend-turned-uncle. To see my boys glow at the sight of new toys shared by neighbors. I am hopeful that some day, my two little sons will grow up understanding that it is okay to need people. As a mom, I have needed others from day one. 

How can you open up your world to let others in? How can you be there to help those you love as they raise their own kids?