Wednesday, March 16, 2011
This is a picture of the top of the little cabinet outside my daughters' bedroom. Since they were born, I've been reading to them every night before bed. Hell, I read to them even when they were still in their mamma's tummy.
I have fond memories of leaving the God of War 1 team around 6 on most nights to rush home and read my oldest (now 7) The Foot Book By Dr. Seuss. Then I would head back in to Sony to work on the game.
Putting my kids to bed with books: it's just been instinct. It never occurred to me not to read to them before bed.
Ok, so back to this cabinet: I toss the books we're currently reading up on top so they're easy to get to the next night.
So just now, I was heading in to my office-across the hall from their bedroom- to start my day and I was stopped cold when I saw the books that were up there. When I looked at them, a few things occurred to me:
* Man, they grow fast and you can see that growth in the books they now like. My youngest (5) is learning to read for herself (and doing an amazing job of it, I might add!) and thus the Level 1 My Little Pony reading book. My oldest continues to say she wants to be an Animal Rescuer when she grows up (she's been saying this since she was 3) and hence the Jane Goodall bio above (side note: it's so cool to use books to introduce my girls to amazing people- and especially women- who have done amazing things in life!)
But these titles are such a far cry from The Foot Book and The Very Hungry Caterpillar cardboard books I used to read to them (and that they used to chew on as they were teething). It's a little sad to watch them grow out of those kinds of things (I love being a dad and loved having tiny kids in the house) but seeing this progress in them is actually much more exciting. Not just because it shows how much they are learning and how their mind's are developing. But because before I know it, they'll be reading teen fiction and then adult books. How fun to be able to share books with them as adults (electronically, I would imagine!) and how fun to sit around the table (be it ours or a table in their own homes as adults) and discuss and debate and share the things we've discovered in books.
* There's a shite ton of creative work happening in kid's fiction. Not just the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson stuff, but for all ages and all genres. Unless you have kids- or want to write kid fiction- I can't imagine this stuff is on your radar. It certainly wasn't on mine. But now that it is, it's such a cool new world to discover. And now that I've discovered it, I think I may actually have a kid/young adult book in me! But then again, I imagine most parents who rediscover the fun, imaginative, cool, varied, creative, and exciting world of kid fiction feel that way. I wonder if I'll ever really sit down and try to write the thing.
*The last- and most powerful- thing that stopped me cold when I saw these books is this: I am super, super blessed. By God? By random chance? By the team that programmed this super immersive VR simulation that I've been playing for the last 39 years? Hard to say- that's why I love being an agnostic...I don't have to say! :)- BUT whatever it is that brings things into our lives, I've been blessed by it. Being a dad is the best thing I am and the best thing I ever will be. It is joy.