It seems that, of late, this blog has been mostly about my clumsiness or our stress, so here's an entry about something heart-warming!
Last night, after bath and snack and teeth-brushing, we settled in for our nightly reading time. Milo had gotten his book order from school, and the books he most wanted to read were the Scooby-Do phonics books. He has flat-out said that he wants to learn to read, so this seemed like a good opportunity.
Book 1 from the Scooby set features short "a" and short "i". I decided to focus on the short a words, so I pointed to each word on the list inside the cover, telling Milo that a-t makes the "at" sound. I read each of the keywords (at, cat, mat, and sat), then we started in on the story.
As I read, I stopped at each of the keywords and let Milo fill in the word. Most of them were "cat" as the title of the reader was "The Cat Came Back." He correctly identified cat each time, paused for a moment for "mat", and needed to be asked, "What sound does S make?" before "sat". We triumphantly reached the end of the book.
Then I pointed to the keywords on the inside of the cover and Milo read at, cat, mat, and sat correctly. He was overjoyed! And a light went off in his little head. He looked at me and said, "Hat is h-a-t, right? And bat is b-a-t?"
I beamed and said, "Yes! That's right! How would you spell 'fat'?"
He thought for a second and said, "F-f-f... F says f. So F-a-t!"
By this point, he was so excited he was squeaking and his whole body was charged, ready to fly. He hopped off his bed, came around and hugged me tightly, his sweet round face barely able to contain his pride.
"I'm so proud of you, buddy! You just read four words! And then you spelled three more!" I squeezed him tightly and kissed his hair. Violet clapped and smiled.
"I'm so proud of you, mommy, for teaching me to read at, cat, mat and sat!"
My big-hearted little boy was sharing the spotlight I'd shone on his accomplishment. Without a second though, he was expressing his gratitude and love, unabashedly affectionate and sincere. I melted. Who wouldn't?
Violet was in awe. She held the book and turned the pages reverently. "Cat, cat, cat. Cat, cat, cat. My read, too, like Milo!"
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I hope that Milo has learned how to express gratitude and show love from us. I hope that he'll continue to show his generosity to the people he loves. he asked last night, during the kids' bath, "Mom, why does Violet always give me the Mickey Mouse when we take a bath?"
"When you love someone, you always give them the things they like!" He was thoughtful and digested that for a moment. It is true, Violet is a sharer by nature -- she always asks for two of everything and takes one to Milo. I can see that it makes her happy to give to him. He usually remembers to thank her, which tickles her, too.
I don't know if that lesson was in play when Milo so quickly shared his accomplishment with me. I'd like to think that he's learning good things from the people who love him the most -- I know that I'm always learning from him. I do know that this lesson is far more important in the long run than at, cat, mat and sat. He will learn to read when he learns to read. But learning to love is a lesson that is always being taught to any willing soul.