Friday, May 11, 2007

Breaking the Code

My youngest daughter just waltzed herself downstairs and read me a story.
I am just astounded at the alchemy that occurs when one looks at black scratches on a sheet of baked wood pulp and derives from them some sort of meaning. I know that the experience of learning to read has been a profoundly lifechanging event that continues for me even today. I am constantly shaped and reshaped by what I read. When I think of the worlds that will open up for my daughter from this, I feel a deep and abiding satisfaction, amazement and pleasure.
Here's what especially funny. Her choice of reading for fun? Calvin & Hobbes. When she is done with her "school" books, she goes straight for C&H. Not an easy primer for someone who is just learning the ropes. She needs a little coaching through a lot of the bigger words. And much of the intended humor goes over her head. Nevertheless, she enjoys it so much that I take immense plesure in just watching her laugh for the pure joy of reading.
Reading is good.

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