My kids are both reading now. And they both love to read, which is great. They love to come to the library and choose books, and they almost always enjoy the books I bring back for them when I come home from work. They participated in the library's summer reading program, finishing the required number of books within just a few days. I'm so pleased that they have become true readers.
My younger daughter just finished reading a chapter book all by herself, one I haven't even read before. And while I was extremely proud of her, I also felt a sense of loss. I'd been looking forward to reading that book with her. Instead, she handed it to me when she was finished and said, "You should read this - it's really funny." It made me feel delighted and depressed all at the same time.
My older daughter will now become engrossed in a book and disappear up to her room with it. I spent most of my own childhood holed up in my room with books. I remember how cozy and peaceful it was reading up there in bed, propped up on my pillows, and I'm pleased that she's discovering that particular joy, too. But at the same time I want to run up and bring her back downstairs to sit on the sofa and read to me, the way we always have.
I know it's inevitable that they will keep growing as readers, and that will mean growing away from me and my husband and the glorious times we've had reading together. And I realize that it is a slow process, and that we still will have many more hours of enjoying and sharing books read out loud. But I'm certain I won't be ready for it when that time comes -- when our reading-together days will be behind us, leaving only the occasional inquiry into what we are reading, or maybe a recommendation of a book or two. I know that is how it goes, and we are lucky they enjoy books so much, but it still makes me sad.