It is certainly no news to co-op parents that reading to your children must be a daily occurrence, but these two stories should be eye-opening for you.
As a grandparent, my interaction with little children has changed from the other teaching stages in my life. No longer am I the primary parent, nor am I the teacher in the classroom. My privileged grandparent status lets me slow way down and savor reading with my two year old, twin grandchildren. My son, Brian, has returned to school to get his MSN, so with Daddy working days and Mommy working nights, I am with the twins twice a week for four hours each day. I bring a bag full of supplies, a few surprises, and books from my (Gigi’s) home library.
I have had four visits so far and all I do is read, play, sing, and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. When we read, the twins alternate sitting on my lap, but sometimes join together, one on each leg. We finish one book and he announces “Jace’s turn,” slides down and fetches another book. He climbs back up on the couch, we finish that book, and Brooke announces, “Brooke’s turn,” but she usually has her book ready to go in her hand. Our reading time can last for a good hour before we all get restless and need to head to the basement to play.
I arrived the other morning and Jace opened the door and greeted me with “Gigi, read?” He pulled down my bag and fished inside to see what books I had brought.
Oh my … music to my ears.
Another eye-opening story to share is from the first of my friends to have a grandchild. This was before FaceTime, but Skyping was popular and also frequent for this family. Ava lived out of state, but Ava visited with her “Gamma” about every six weeks. Gamma spent a lot of time reading with Ava on her lap when they were together. So, when Ava was Skyping with Gamma at about age two, she sidled up to the keyboard and sat down with her back to the computer screen. She crawled onto Gamma’s lap as easily as if she had been physically with her.
How powerful is that?
Best in parenting,
Ginny Hacker, Director