Julia surprises: Two nights ago, I was tucking Julia in and she asked me how old two of her classmates were. I told her that they were either 10 or 11. And then, she told me that one of them had read book 5 of the Harry Potter books and the other had read all seven. She added, “and Julia Potter is 13,” and gave me her most suggestive look. I had to laugh at her. I wanted to send up flags and flares in celebration. Julia was actually comparing herself to her classmates! Comparing for the first time ever, at least expressing it to me for the first time. And she was using her classmates as examples of what she wanted to do.
I know that kids much younger than she use this tactic constantly and for almost anything that they want. Julia has never used it before. So much opening and discovery went into that simple exchange. I get close to allowing her to read whatever books she wants to!
Tonight, Julia got ready for bed in time to spend some time reading. She is reading one of the American Girl books — Meet Josephina, I think. I was in my own room reading and Julia called out to me asking if we could buy the book about the Shashawnee Indiana girl, Kaya. She had told me today that she was reading that book with another girl in school but I had not realized that it was an American Girl book. Julia makes connections between and among books regularly these days.
These are small milestones in a typical child’s life. Milestones that I hardly noticed when Cheshire passed one or the other. It was hardly an occasion to become aware of a new skill, but for Julia! It is miracles. And I am very grateful.