Monday, May 14, 2007

Read to Your Sons and Daughters

The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you'll go.
~Dr. Seuss

I grew up in the country. We lived several miles out of town and my family was very introverted. They did not go to church and they socialized very little with others. You could pretty much count on getting groceries on Saturday mornings and that was the "big" weekly outing. Strange, I know, but something great came out of that isolation for me: the love of reading.

My mother never read to me, but always encouraged me to go read when I was bored on long hot summer days. As a child, I set up house with the Boxcar Children, played with the Bobsy Twins, and had great adventures on a deserted island with The Swiss Family Robinson. I could go anywhere I wanted and it was unbelievable. Once I learned about the wondrous places I could go, I was reading without prompting.

As an adult, I get to enjoy those same books, and many others, with my children. There is truly not a more important activity that you can share with them. I began reading to my eleven-year-old daughter when she was a baby. She learned so much so fast. By the time she was two she was speaking clearly and in full sentences. People would stop me and comment about her great vocabulary and how much she knew for such a young child. Reading to your children develops language.

Children are filled with the wonder of life. They are naturally inquisitive, and everything they see is fresh and new and amazing. Reading to your children allows a very natural way for you to teach your children about the world around them. Danielle knew about bugs and reptiles, flowers and farm animals, herbivores and carnivores. She knew so much and I was the lucky lady that got to teach her all of that. Wow! There isn't a better feeling.

For Danielle and me, reading was also a very special time we got to share together every single night before bedtime. It was the part of her nighttime ritual that calmed her for bed. It was special, and we both looked forward to it - good thing because I know I would never have been able to wiggle out of it. It really made us closer, which I am sure will benefit us in the tumultuous years of adolescence. As she got older and learned how to read on her own, she read to me, or we would take turns. It still isn't unusual for her to grab one of her favorite fairy tales for me to read to her.

We now have bookshelves packed full of books. When I look at them I see our past. I see mother-daughter bonding, laughing, and learning together. I see a piece of her childhood that I wouldn't trade for anything else in the world, and for all the things I've done wrong as a mother I know in my heart that reading is the one thing I got right for sure. Now I get to share the same thing with my little Chloe. Thank God for reading!

Have a fantastic day!


sylvia c. said...


This is such a wonderful post.

I couldn't agree more!

Your children are lucky to have such a great mom!


Sylvia C.

Lisa Vella said...

Thank you, Sylvia! Although I think I'm really the lucky one!

Have a wonderful day! :)


Mihaela Lica said...

Thank God for writers! :)

Betsy Henning said...

Oh Lisa, this really is a beautiful piece of writing. I agree with Sylvia -- your daughters are lucky to have such a wonderful mom.

I haven't been to your blog for a few days...and, can I say this in public for all the world to see? ...I'm jealous!

You've proven yourself faithful in little writings(like blogging), and now the big stuff is coming your way. You go girl!

"He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much..." Luke 16:10

Love, Bets

Lisa Vella said...

Betsy, what would I do without you? Mig and Sylvia, the same goes to you. I can always count on you to build me up and keep me encouraged - to keep those posts coming!

You are wonderful beautiful women!