What do my three and a half year old nephew, my two year old niece, and myself (who is waaaay older than either of them) all have in common, other than being related? Books! We love books!
B (my nephew,) T (my niece,) my sister and myself took a trip to their local library. It's been a long time since I've been in the children's area of a library but I loved it - loved how everything is smaller, lower, more accessible. The picture books on the tops of the bookcases stood open and out, their colorful covers eye candy for all the little ones passing by - including my nephew.
"I want to look at this one," he said, pulling down one of those books. He asked me, "What does it say?" I told him it was about the tooth fairy and, even though he's years away from meeting the tooth fairy, the book went in the pile to go home.
My sister, who's a teacher, walked around picking out titles and authors she's familiar with while I read to the kids. We read a book about a little girl who thinks she's a chicken and we read a book about a robot - B loves robots.
It was so much fun for so many reasons - being surrounded by books, being surrounded by colors and words, having T on my lap and B sitting next to me, watching them watch the words dance across the page, the story coming alive as if by magic as I read those words out loud.
A number of times over the next few days, B would ask me, "What was the name of that robot again, Aunt Maddie? The one in the book we read at the library?" And I would tell him, all the while hoping that this was just the beginning, hoping that we'd have many, many more conversations about books in the years to come.