Just yesterday, I was talking about how much I used to read as a child. Not to brag or anything, but by second grade, I was reading at a seventh grade level. (Ahem. *Dusts dirt off shoulder.*) I was always a fast and excellent reader. But, comprehension was always my struggle. And to this day, I find that I need silence and concentration to digest something important I’m reading. No, I cannot study with music on. White or ambient noise is golden for me. But anyway, back to childhood. Some of my favorite books to read when I was young involved Dr. Seuss (of course), finding out what shenanigans Amelia Bedelia was getting herself into, young adult stories a la Judy Blume and Louis Sachar, ghost stories (Goosebumps, anyone?), or even just researching paranormal activity. Being an only child, reading was a friend of mine. Reading took me on adventures, it passed time, taught me various life lessons and skills, it gave me an escape and something to look forward to.
As an adult, it’s hard to find the time to keep up with reading but I try to keep up with it as much as I can. And to this day, I still give books as gifts to children in my life. This most recent Christmas, my Godson (also cousin) received his first book from me. Yes, I gave him a dinosaur shirt and some new sheets to go with his cool dinosaur comforter. But, he and I have always bonded over the details of dinosaurs- what they ate, where and how they lived, how they defended themselves, etc. Since he’s getting older and will be able to read within a few years, I decided to buy him his first dinosaur book.
While he was opening his presents on Christmas Eve with all of our family, he was hollering at excitement as he unwrapped his new toy guns, race cars, and dragons. He literally said, “THIS IS AMAZING!!” when opening gifts. While that was so fun to watch, my favorite moment was when he opened his gift from me. He opened the bag and took out the book and said, “WOW! A dino book!”. He immediately sat down in his miniature kid’s chair (that I probably would only be able to use as a tiny ottoman) and started flipping through the book. I bent down and started explaining to him that the book is organized by size (small dinosaurs to GIGANTIC) and it not only has illustrations but details about the dinosaur. He seemed so enthralled by it. It made me so happy to be able to share that moment with him in the middle of all the Christmas present madness. Not only that, but I’m looking forward to reading that book with him over the next few years as he is able to digest, learn, and enjoy what this simple dino book has to offer. It’s not just about the content…it’s about everything else books do.