I've been participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers. I love the challenge of composing a piece of writing at least once a week about life or teaching.
Yesterday afternoon I went to the public library to pick up a few books, and I heard the cutest voice of a little girl "reading" aloud in the adult nonfiction section. Out of curiosity I meandered over there to see what was going on. The little girl was sitting against the wall, legs and feet out in front of her, a pile of books beside her, looking through a picture book about Halloween and telling the story that she saw in the pictures in all her pre-reading wisdom. Her mom was browsing, and the little girl's black curls tumbled over her forehead, finger pointing at the interesting parts of the pictures, completely engrossed in another universe. She wasn't talking to anyone and wasn't interacting with her mom - she was telling the story to herself. At one point she gleefully announced (head still bowed), "Halloween is so much fun!" I glanced down - nowhere on the page did it say those words, and she wasn't talking to her mom or me. A character was obviously saying that even thought the words didn't. I didn't want any nonfiction yesterday, but I hung out anyway, absent-mindedly looking at book spines, just so I could hear that little voice - a girl learning to read without anyone having to teach her - just give her a book (or ten), a library, a mom who obviously loves to read, and she's got it. No doubt that hours had been spent with her mom and others, reading, pouring over books, treasuring books, loving books. I wish every little girl (and boy) in the world had that advantage. So much of her future was already told because she'll learn to read and will no doubt succeed in school. Lucky her!