My mother used to read to my brothers and I, and one of her favorite books to “act out” was “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” She really did act it out too… She would transition voices for each of the animals in the story, and … I think this was our favorite part… she would act out each sneeze (which was very, very dramatic).
We would usually read during the day, right before naptime (or quiet-time, since we didn’t necessarily always nap). The image that comes to mind is my two brothers and I, in our shared bedroom at our small apartment. (We lived here when I was in kindergarten and moved shortly after.)
I personally love reading to others, and I feel this is because of the investment my mother made in each of us children. Also, my father taught me to read at four years old. My parents separated when I was very young, so I visited my dad on weekends. He still tells the story of how he taught me to read in 3 weekends using the Hooked on Phonics program. “Your mom called me when you got home, and exclaimed, “Mike!!! She can read!!! Not just look at the pictures and make up a story, but she can ACTUALLY READ!!!”
In third grade, I was blessed to be in the class of my favorite teacher ever, Ms. Keiholz. I was so sad that I had to move on from her class, but I always said hi to her and gave her a hug every time I saw her. After fourth grade, my mother decided to homeschool us kiddos, and I was able to go into Ms. Keiholz’s class and help some of her students during reading time. I would sit with a student that needed some help and we would take turns reading out loud.
In high school I participated in the drama club and was part of the Speech and Debate team (Just to clarify… I didn’t actually debate… they had several different events that revolved around speaking activities). Storytelling drew my interest, and during my junior year, I was able to place in two different competitions with one of my favorite stories, When Charlie McButton Lost Power by Suzanne Collins. (I also participated in Speech and Debate during my senior year… but I met my future husband, got engaged, and was totally engrossed in wedding planning and my grades.)
I still LOVE to read… but of course I get easily distracted by all of the things that I “need” to do (I’m a busybee- it’s something I’m working on). However, when I do get caught up in a story, it is wonderful! My favorite genre is historical fiction with a tad bit of romance in it… and my favorite author is Jane Kirkpatrick, who just happens to write in my favorite genre! (If you’re at all interested in reading some of her books, I highly recommend A Sweetness to the Soul; it’s truly one of my favorites!)
And now, as I look down and see my ever-growing belly- at least until mid-October that is- I think about the wonderful times I will get to spend with my daughter, reading to her, teaching her how to read, and she eventually reading to me, her daddy, her future brothers and sisters, and someday, a long, long time from now, her own children.