Every year for Thanksgiving, my family takes a road trip to Hatteras Island.  We spend our days fishing, hiking, shell looking, sharks tooth hunting, sunset picture taking and drinking fine beer and wines. As the days wind down, so do the children.  Each year we corral them into their rooms and read them a book.  Each parent taking a turn.  This year, was just a bit different.

We had a new reader on the Island.  My cousins daughter had begun to read.  Each night we would sit down and she would read to the kids Hop on Pop.  It was the cutest damn thing ever.  She was so proud.  Each night, I would notice our daughter had a look of amazement.  She was just dumbfounded that a kid could read.  It never occurred to her that kids read.  Then one night, she claimed she was going to read the book.  I let her.  She got to the first word, looked at it, looked at me, looked at the word again and said.  Daddy, you read, I don’t think I can.   My heart melted.  She wanted to read so badly.  We were not prepared for what was about to happen over the next several weeks.

Dad, what does F.O.R.D. spell?

I can spell Lexie.

H.A.R.A.S. spells moms name backwards.  Yours is D.I.V.A.D.

(hell, I can hardly spell names backwards.  And she was spittin these out, not really thinking about it.)

So, we got her a few beginner books.  Her favorite was “Hot Dog”

“Dog is hot, cat is not.”

“Dog is hot, pig is not”…so on and so forth.

After about 4 nights of this, we realized she needed to move on.  It was on to Hop on Pop.  This was a big challenge for the soon to be 5 year old.  She opened the book, took a deep breath and…

She drilled it!  She pretty much read the whole thing.  There were a few moments where she needed help.  We would sound it out and figure it out.  She would remember those words the next night.  At the moment, she pretty much reads the whole thing with very little assistance.

Our baby girl is growing up.  The wife and I are so proud of her.  H glows with excitement when she reads.  She knows she is making her parents proud.  We have always been proud of her, but this moment…This moment is all hers.

For us, we can sit back and be proud.  We can also kiss goodbye the days of spelling things in code.  Hell, we can’t even spell stuff backwards in code, the Kid will still figure it out.

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