If I look at my daughter's bookcase, it contains so much more than several shelves of books. Rather, I see many wonderful memories. Books that we read in tough times, stories that filled us with wonder, tales of heroes and adventures, and fantasies that filled our hearts and minds. There are books that represent each of the different phases of her life. From beginning reader to young adult. Several series that we went through, reading one volume and eagerly looking forward to the next. We have spent so many hours together reading and talking about the stories and characters. Such a deep and meaningful period of bonding and loving. The essence of quality time. Usually my daughter would lie with her head against my shoulder so that she could see the pictures or follow along with the words as I read them. Our times like this were always a joy to me and I never grew weary of her asking me to read just one more chapter, even if that meant stretching out her bed time a little bit longer than usual.
Over the last year or so, my daughter has really come to embrace reading books on her own. She very much enjoys some quiet time to relax with whatever tale she is working through. Gone are the kiddie books. Now she can easily tackle tomes 500 pages long. I guess that as an academic sort myself, it should give me some measure of pride to have passed along a love of reading to her. Yes, I guess that is true. But now that she has her own stories to read, she no longer needs me to read to her. If there is and opportunity for reading, her choice is to dive into her own book, curling up in her bed or in a nice sunny spot in the living room. I so miss those quiet times, just the two of us. Reading to her and living those endless adventures together. I guess that I must face the fact that she has turned the page. A wise friend once told me to love her deeply but hold onto her loosely.