I spent most, if not all, of my childhood chasing dreams.
Maybe it was growing up with a massive extended family. There was never a quiet moment in the house. Everrything was a vortex of cackling, tv sounds, music, calalloo and threadbare carpet. Great stuff having lots of family around but I also felt claustrophobic, I had no peace no time for me. That is, except when I was reading.
I travelled the world over and through time. At age eight I was reading novels, 'grown up' ones at that. I read everything I could get my hands on. Comics, classics, westerns, National Geographic & Readers Digest even Playboy. I read cover to cover, scrutinizing every article, every ad. Astral travel? Cant compare to reading.
I never equated reading with learning, though I did learn. Reading was pure undulterated pleasure. Reading inspired dreams. Reading was fuel for the imagination.
Kids need to dream. I read to my kids most every night. Sometimes Doctor Seuss. Sometimes Thomas the Tank Engine (an obsession in this house). More often though, it's a little more grown up than what one expects from 7 and 3 years olds. I read them the original Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and they were fascinated. J especially comes back days after with questions about the plot and characters.
It makes me happy to see my kids reading and enjoying reading. They are still very active and love to play and goof around, reading isnt going to make them angels overnight. I can see the impact that books have had on them through their interactions not only with their parents but with others, especially adults. They are not afraid to question, to enquire and to challenge. This does not fare them well with some of their 'old school' teachers but to me it is a very positive quality.
Read to your kids, even if not your kids, your nieces and nephews, your neighbour's or friend's child. Every child should grow up with dreams.
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