I sit next to her, already immersed in The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. “It’s my favorite,” she gushes.
I nod, encouraging her to keep reading. She continues on, pausing to study the pictures and then back to the words on the page.
“Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches…”
“This book is fiction, of course. Because trees can’t talk.”
I smile and nod. “Of course.”
She keeps reading, only to stop again. This time to think aloud, so I can hear the work going on in her head. “This might say, ‘three,’ then I look at the words and ‘hmmmm’ this doesn’t have an h, so this word can’t be three. It must be tree.”
I nod my head again and she continues.
“Come, Boy,” she whispered, “come and play.”
She goes back to reread, pausing to point to the word whispered as she says, “I’m whispering. Did you notice? It’s because it says whispered.”
Again I nod.
She finishes the story without much commentary. When she gets to the end, she closes the book and hugs it to her chest, a mixture of love and pride painted across her face.
“This was the best part of my day, Mommy. Reading with you.”
I nod again, pulling my girl in for a hug.