“…but you don’t have to take MY word for it!”

Anyone remember Reading Rainbow?

Just watching the show’s intro fills me with all sorts of warm fuzzies.  I loved Reading Rainbow.  In fact, one of my childhood goals was to be one of the kids at the end of the show who got to give a book review, which always ended with the phrase: “but you don’t have to take my word for it!” (yes, I was a geek even then)

Reading was always a part of my life, from my earliest moments on.  I still have several copies of my favorite childhood books that are now on Emma’s bookshelves.  One of these books is Baby’s Birthday, a book that my mom read to me so many times she had memorized all its lines.

She also said I would get seriously upset if she ever tried to skip pages on me.

I love watching my little girl develop her love of books. For the last 4 years, I’ve been hounding the used book sales and garage sales to give her a collection of her very own.

Each night for her bedtime ritual, she gets to choose 2 books from her shelves to read.  It used to be a haphazard choice, but these days I love watching her pull out individual books and deliberate over which ones to read.  It’s a wonder to watch a toddler’s mind at work!

Tonight she picked out this book from her shelf:

As you can probably tell, I always go for the vintage Golden Books first in my hunt for Emma books.

This book is definitely 1970’s-alicious, but it gets me all verklempt each time I read it to her.  The story is about a little girl named Suzy who wants to help her mama with the laundry, but her mama thinks she isn’t “big enough” to be a helper.  By the end of the story, the mama suddenly realizes that she has misjudged the abilities of her daughter, and she stops what she’s doing, kneels down to her daughter’s level, and apologizes for her mistake.

I love that this story illustrates how parents can be wrong and sometimes owe their kids apologies.  Each time I read that part of the mama saying she’s sorry to her little girl, I get a little emotional.  I think it’s a good reminder for me, that Emma is becoming her own person and I need to recognize and accommodate for her growing up (including knowing when to apologize when I’ve wronged her).

The other book we read tonight was one that she picked from her school’s library: Shota and the Star Quilt.  This book was about the Lakota tribe and involved an act of kindness by two little girls to a greedy land developer.  My little toddler picked out a book on social justice!  It was a beautiful story, and the social justice part of me was very proud my little girl was drawn to such a story.

In case you were wondering, here are some more of Emma’s current literary favorites:

  • Robert the Rose Horse (ker-choooo!)
  • On the Night you were Born (this one makes me cry EVERY time)
  • The Three Little Pigs (old school Disney version)
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • The Shy Little Kitten
  • Lucky Puppy (from 101 Dalmatians)
  • Madeline’s Rescue (another of my old books)

(as an added bonus, here’s an old picture of me reading to Emma “Baby’s Birthday” on her first birthday!)

First day of school

Today was Emmalee’s (her name @ school) first day at preschool.  Being the good-mama that I am, I tried my best to take as many pictures as possible — which is no small feat when your toddler is so excited to be at school, she’s running as fast as she can to get there!

All dressed up, ready to go!

Pausing for a second (literally) at the school’s front door.

Shaking hands with Mona, Emmalee’s teacher

(my 3 year old is learning how to shake hands, people!!)

And, she’s off — no tears, just a quick kiss and a “see you later, mama.”

Post-first-day celebratory ice cream @ DQ.