One of my favorite things to do lately is drive around town with my youngest daughter in tow.
Don’t doubt my sanity gentle reader. (Or at least don’t doubt it any more than usual.)
My youngest has reached that exciting stage where she has started to recognize certain words on billboards and signs. The other day we passed by a Chase Bank and Eden almost lost her mind. She squealed, “That says CHASE! Just like my friend’s name is CHASE! Does CHASE own a real bank?!?” at a pitch that probably caused all dogs within a two mile radius to bleed from their ears.
I have to say I love this phase of ‘emerging literacy.’ (Did you like how I threw in that technical term oh-so-casual like? All for you gentle reader, all for you.) You can almost see the wheels turning in their little brains, quickly putting information together, adding in their experiences. It is a breathtaking process to watch and it is so easy to miss.
When my oldest daughter was this age, the whole process caught me by surprise. I remember we were driving down the street and Trinity said thoughtfully, “That’s a funny name for a store! The Off Ice Max store. What is Off Ice?”
I almost had a wreck when I realized she had read actual words on a storefront. I was her mother and spent everyday with her. Yet somehow she had begun to read without me even knowing she was able.
I swear if you’re with your kids and you blink? You miss something.
So the other day I took the kids to the library. We were driving down a street I affectionately refer to as “Pharmacy Alley” because there are drugstores on every. single. block. Sometimes there are two of them sitting side by side, vainly trying to ignore each other.
My youngest looks out the window and happily yells “I see a Walgreen’s!” She then goes on to repeat that exact sentence an additional four times as we continued down the road. Finally in a completely satisfied voice, Eden sighs contentedly and whispers “Oh Mom. It’s a Walgreen world out there.”
Yes it is sweetie. Yes it is.