After a year of coasting along with my bigger little girl in her happy five-year-old place, I’d almost forgotten that big changes are on the horizon for her. And then something happened. She stopped in front of a crosswalk and read a sign. Stop. Look. Walk.
I always knew it would happen – this reading thing – but it always seemed so far ahead in the future… something to look forward to in the upcoming years, but not now. Now she is such a little girl; a little girl who has yet to pluck the fruits of phonemes and syntax from the tree of knowledge; a little girl who doesn’t even have these fruits within her reach.
But somewhere within her, she has found a ladder. (Or is growing taller… which could explain all those dresses suddenly rising above the knees) Just a moment ago she was a little girl asking me how to spell everything, painstakingly writing each word as I dictated – letter by letter. Now, out of nowhere, she is reading – or trying to read- everything she sees.
It really is amazing, this emergent literacy stuff, and how if kids are left to their own devices (in a society that places high value on the written word) it will often just occur naturally. Who knew? Certainly not me. But between word recognition, context, and yes, phonemes, Emerson is blossoming into a literate member of society in front of our eyes.
The world will never be the same again…
Now my little girl is getting ahead of me (way ahead of me) on the bike trail, and instead of waiting for me at those stop signs, she is stopping, looking, and riding across the streets (some quite busy intersections) all by herself. As I walk behind her in the distance I sometimes feel a prick of fear, but it is tempered by large amounts of trust and pride.
And is that a loose tooth in there?
Such big happenings for such a small girl – each one a reminder to slow down and notice the details of everyday, because they won’t last forever, and we shouldn’t want them to.
Stop. Look. Walk.