“If you are ever going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.” Roald Dahl
It’s never too early to build a love for reading. World Book Day might almost be over but we continue to give Ellie the best start in life and a love for books is one of the greatest things we can pass on to her. We are lucky in that Ellie already loves books and has from a very early age. She has always enjoyed looking at the pictures and already turns the pages herself. Even before she was born we had a collection of books ready and waiting to be read (another reality of life after baby loss!) and I couldn’t wait to sit with my children and read to them before bed.
As a child I would be found reading rather than playing, I guess I was (and still am) a nerd. I had shelves full of books, Disney, Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Jacqueline Wilson etc and my head was always stuck in them. I knew that if I ever wanted to do well in life reading was my best bet. I knew that words could hurt but they could also inspire and when I was reading I was inspired to dream big and believe that my dreams could happen.
“All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen.”
Working in a primary school means we celebrate World Book Day every year and I love it. The idea that we share the stories that inspire us, the books that we love is an amazing thing to do. Children don’t have time to sit and read any more and that is evident in their costumes (superheroes, TV shows, Disney princesses etc.) and I guess this is the generation we live in. I never wanted that for my children. I wanted them to grow up reading the same books I did and feeling the same way I used to. In previous years I have dressed up as Alice, a superhero (while pregnant with Jason…that wasn’t an easy theme to stick to!), a purple crayon (from The Day The Crayons Quit – amazing book!) and this year I made a dalmation costume (101 Dalmations of cause). I spent hours last night preparing it and was actually really pleased with my diy creativity.
“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives.” – Matilda – Roald Dahl
When Jason died my passion for reading was halted, I didn’t want to hide away in a world that wasn’t reality. Although my reality was pretty awful it still meant he existed and I didn’t want that to leave. It was all I had left of him, was his memory. When I read I am literally in the book, it becomes real for me, I live the story, the characters and that meant losing a piece of Jason. I tried getting indulged, I tried just reading shorter books that I couldn’t get so involved in but it didn’t work. And I’m afraid to say that passion still exists in my past to this day. I don’t know whether that’s because of not having the time or whether it is the worry that by reading I will lose him again. Whatever the reason, I now live my passion through Ellie and her love for stories.
Today was a snow day for us both and while she napped I rearranged her stories in her room so that she could choose her own. We don’t get chance to read every night to her but most days she brings books from her toy box and sits and looks through the pictures herself so it still counts. I wanted to celebrate World Book Day by remembering why books are so important in a child’s life. They really do make you believe the world is whatever you want it to be and for a child that is EVERYTHING.
Ellie has a wide range of books, hard books, paperback books, some she is allowed to look through herself and some that I want to be kept for when she is old enough to appreciate them. Her shelves are full of so many possibilities, each page taking her to a new world, a new adventure. For now they are books that either I love, books that have been given to her or books that we found in the Poundshop! Nevertheless, Ellie loves looking through them all.
When Luke came home we sat in Ellie’s room for a while watching her play, after a few minutes she pulls out a book from the bookcase and takes it to Luke. We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is one of my favourite books from my childhood, I remember every word and got so excited when a work friend purchased it for Ellie on her first Christmas. It must be Ellie’s favourite at the moment to as it’s the book she grabs every time. Luke now knows it word for word and doesn’t even need the light on to read it to her. Watching her smile while he read to her was everything I have dreamed of for such a long time. Growing up I never knew I wanted to have children of my own (I’d always thought I wouldn’t be able to so never thought about it ever happening but that’s another story) but watching them both together, knowing that somewhere Jason was listening to his Daddy read them both a story just gave me all the feels. This is what I wanted when I used to dream of what adulthood would be like.
My life isn’t perfect like in the stories, we don’t have the perfect family, I get stressed, Ellie cries, I cry, we have been through hell and back but life isn’t a story book and that’s okay because stories are a way of finding a balance and escaping the realities of life.
I hope that one day I find my passion for reading again but for now I am happy reliving my youth through Ellie and her new passion.
If anyone has any stories they could recommend for us i’d love to hear them 😀
Happy World Book Day every one x