Monday, August 15, 2011

Learning to Read

When I was younger, I really had better things to do than learn how to read.  There were toys to play with, and movies to watch, and friends to play with outside.  I really did not want to sit down and look at the words on a page.  My mom made me.

I remember being forced to sit in my doorway to read Dr. Seuss' "Are You My Mother?"  In the book, this little bird hatches and falls out of his nest. Throughout the story, he keeps on asking both other animals and inanimate objects whether they are his mother.  He does not give up until he finds his real mother. This book can symbolize my mom's actions.

My mom held me in her lap, and held the book in front of us.  She tried to get me to read the words on my own.  To me, it was agonizing to stay and one spot and not be able to leave until I read this book.  The book was probably fifteen pages long.  To me, it seemed much longer.  I was perhaps four or five years old at the time.

I was stubborn, I whined and struggled and argued against reading.  However, by age twenty three, I have realized that I cannot outdo my mom in an argument she believes strongly in.  Although she got frustrated at times, she did not give up on me.  Over time, and much repetition of that very same book, I was able to read it on my own.  Ever since then, my mom has helped me to not only read the words off a page, but to seek out books on my own, to read.  All the time through, I fault against what I thought was difficult and altogether something that I did not want to do. 

We went to the library all the time.  She had no trouble getting me to read "Star Wars" books, but she tried to get me to read many 90's book series.  The Hardy Boys, The Berenstein Bears, The Littles, The Magic Tree House.  My problem was once I got comfortable with a book, I did not want to read anything else.  Another problem I had is I would not read each word, but skip around the page until I gathered the meaning of what was being said.  In the end, my mom's persistence won.  By middle school, she was tired of trying to get me to read.  I still wasn't reading up to the standard of other students, but I was now seeking out new books on my own.

I guess I have to say that the moral of this story is that persistence paid off in my case.  Don't give up, no matter how hard it is.  There is always a light at the end of the dark tunnel, a silver lining during the heart of the storm.

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