mama mondays: the flowering of a new reader

My mother-in-law took these pictures last month when I was away at a writing workshop in Pennsylvania. It brought such joy to my heart to see images of kids #3 and #4 reading to kid #5, apparently helping him to sound out words, in my faraway location. It brought me close to them in an instant and kept me high the rest of the stay.

This weekend, our little one slipped into bed with us (as he often does). I woke up Sunday morning to this:

“Mom, does R-O-X spell Rox?”

(He was looking up at a caricature of my husband and I pinned to a nearby bulletin board. It was taken in our first year of marriage and the artist had written “Rox” below the drawing of me.)

“It does,” I said.

“Okay, and does B-L-U-D spell blood?”

(Not exactly sure the source of that question…)

“Almost, but not quite. Blood is B-L-O-O-D. It seems like it should be B-L-U-D, though, huh? But O-O can also make the ‘uh’ sound, just like U can.”

It’s never quite so evident how little sense our English language makes until you try to explain it to a five-year-old. Some things just can’t be explained well. But either way, I’m thrilled he’s trying. He’s sounding out words on his own, not only by looking at them but by imagining them in his mind and sounding them out. What a phenomenal process, if you think about it, considering everything that has to work together in order for that to happen. Soon, he’ll be reading real books by himself. Soon also I’ll have no one to read to in our household who can’t already read by themselves. That’s a bit of a bittersweet thought.

But oh how I delight in this discovery of words that our kids have come upon one by one. Bumping into the world of words is among the greatest discoveries of all, next to the realization of how we came to be, the source of our being, God.

We’ve been experiencing a few parenting challenges recently, and I have to grab onto these positive moments because the struggles can be so difficult. I won’t be blogging about these things anytime soon — I think it’s wise to be discerning when it comes to matters involving family (unless I’ve garnered permission first) — but I’m not above asking for a prayer or two. I’ve seen other ways in which the blogging world can bring about meaningful connections, after all. Why not through prayer as well? Even if I can’t share exactly how things are unfolding, at the very least I’ll check back later and let you the ways in which God entered our life during this time. I don’t know how it will all turn out but I’m convinced God will play an integral part.

Blessings, and have a week filled with sprinklings of beauty!