When Emily didn’t know how to read I used to sit down on her bed every night and read to her a couple of pages of my favorite books. Now that she can do it, I let her choose and read whatever she wants. Sometimes I stay, sometimes she reads on her own; either way, it is always a pleasure to see her and listen to her reading in French, English or Spanish… I feel very proud!
With Alejandro is a little tricky. When we try to read I am not sure if he is paying attention or not. Also he wants to take the lead, turn the pages and look at the covers, so I cannot really follow the story. I am not very good improvising, so most of the time I am not sure what to say and I just name the pictures or look at him while he plays.
But there is a particular book that I always try my best to read out loud from cover to cover, and it is called: Oh! The Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss.
I used to live my everyday life considering just the present; treasuring the past and giving little thought about the future; but some of this changed when Emily and Alejandro arrived. Now, the future started to worry me more than before, and although, I continue living the present to the fullest, my children’s future moved up to the top of my list of concerns.
I know that I won’t be around forever… I cannot make them any promises… but Dr. Seuss comforts me and shows me a realistic but fun way to validate their feelings and show them that it is ok to have bad days; that life is not always a fairy tale, but they will be strong enough to be as big as they want to be.
The world is accessible to everybody and filled with marvelous places for them to explore. I want them to understand life as an adventure worth to be experienced.
Emily sits close to me and helps with the reading while Alejandro jumps around, plays with cars or just lies in bed humming a song. Maybe they are not paying 100% attention, but I’m sure they are listening! and one day, when they’ll have to face the fear and move mountains, I am sure they will remember some of these wonderful words:
…You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’ re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ ll decide where to go…
…So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
Emily and Alejandro, Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!