Why I Read With My Daughter

Ever since she was old enough to crawl, Jaelle has really been into (no…OBSESSED) with books. She probably “plays” with her books more than she does her toys. One of her favorite things to do now is grab a book from under the coffee table and hold it up to mine or Jasmine’s face until we put her in our lap and read it to her…over and over again lol. Doesn’t matter what else is happening at the time. When Jaelle says it’s book time, it’s book time.

Such was the routine again this morning. But this time, it made me think about my childhood. When i was growing up, a lot of my classmates, particularly the African American ones, made fun of me because of the way I talked. They called me things like “preppy boy” and “proper kid.” I admit it used to bother me…until the day I asked my mom about it.

She said there was a reason why I communicated the way I did, and it was because she used to read to me every day and night. Even when I was in the womb, she was always reading. And instead of speaking Babby-Babble to me, she talked to me in full sentences like a normal human being. “That,” she told me, “is why you don’t sound like a fool when you open your mouth."

From then on, i embraced my ability to put words together, enjoying the art of creative writing and holding coversations. I no longer felt pressure to dumb down my vernacular in order to fit in with those around me. It was (and still is) just another attribute that made me who I am.


So now, I do the same thing with my daughter. But i read with her for a couple reasons. #1 - because i want Jaelle to understand the power of words and the value of being able to weave them together in a cohesive manner.

And #2- because i want to cherish the precious moments i have with her. i’m learning that in this life I can easily get more money and things, but i can’t manifest relationships out of thin air. These moments are ones that I will never see again.

So whether it's reading “Llama Llama, Nighty Night” fifty times a day or dressing up like a fairy for a tea party, i don’t mind. I’m just honored to BE THERE with my daughter through it all.


- GF