Monday, July 28, 2003

Reading girl

Hey, my reading-phobic daughter has, as of today, read a total of seven books this summer. Seven! We know the exact number because she's been filling out a form picked up at a Barnes and Noble bookstore, and when she gets to eight books she gets a free one. Free books aren't exactly a thrill for her, but I think she is proud to be filling in those blanks. To try to fan the flames of excitement over reading, I also bought a "reading log" from the Really Good Stuff Web site; meant for a classroom, it's a laminated log with paper leaves that kids can fill in with the title, author, and what they like about the books they've been reading. Our log's looking pretty fluffy, with her seven leaves on it.

Whenever my girl balks at reading, as she tends to do, I explain that reading is like exercise for your brain, and will help with her ongoing language learning disabilities. And darned if it doesn't seem to be working. She's been more and more able to express herself over the past couple of months, finding the words to ask questions she was never able to ask before. Including, interestingly, questions about her birthparents and her adoption. I've tried to engage her in conversation about adoption for years, and she's never been very interested, usually following up my sensitive openings with questions about what's for dinner. But now, suddenly, she's exploding with curiosity and fantasies about what life would have been like with her birthparents and plans for contacting them when she's a grown-up. So now it's my turn to get reading: Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, for starters. Now that she's becoming able to communicate in ways she never could before, I need to be able to communicate back.

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