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Today I’m really thankful for the ability to read. Reading has helped to keep me sane, it’s had a big influence on my ability to “do life.” I started reading so young, I can’t remember a time I didn’t read. I vaguely recall my grandma playing music, the rhythm, the phonics, and then I was reading, just like that. She used to say I was just made to read and it only took about an hour to reveal the secret code.

Reading really is a bit like a secret code, you have to be able to hear the music within the words, the notes they are playing, and sound them out. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered this just doesn’t come naturally to everyone.  We’re all different, eye/ brain coordination manifests itself in different ways. Some people can actually look at a bicycle and then go sketch it out, with some real engineering. If I try to do that, you’ll just get two circles and a line.

Actual music kind of eludes me, too. I’m darn near tone deaf, so while I can grasp some of it intellectually, it doesn’t really register.  Ha! I sing all the time, however. There are words! Words just have their own music.

Many people really struggle to read for various reasons. Some of that is innate to who we are, a part of our design, and some of it is just poor teaching. I remember when my kids were small, wailing and gnashing my teeth because suddenly phonics were out, replaced with fancy, smancy, color coded curriculums that just made no sense at all. Then you put 18 noisy kids all in a room and pretend you can teach them all how to read, all at once. As if they are all the same.

All my kids became good readers, my son perhaps being the most resistant.  Much like my girls would lament of math, “I’m never going to use this,” my son would lament of reading, “Why? What’s the point?” Today he’s an avid reader and the girl’s math skills have exceeded mine. Not long ago a pretty successful author posted her fourth grade assessments basically saying, “kid is reading and writing way below grade level.” She had cheerfully written her own assessment,  “I’m going to grow up and write books.”

Ha! That’s public school for you. Don’t ever let schooling define you….or your children.

I come from an exceedingly dysfunctional family, lots of major issues there, lots of lessons on how not to “do life,” and yet they really got two things right, they once let me spend an afternoon with my grandma who taught me how to read, and they mostly kept me out of public school.

So what are books?  I don’t know, adventure, travel, the collective human voice, wisdom, experience, music for our souls perhaps? If you still struggle to read, we have books on tape now, and people who will read them to you. I read and it enables me to see stuff, to understand things in a way I would not have been able to do alone. We need the voices of other people in our lives, their stories, their struggles, their testimonies.

If you ever wonder of your voice matters in the world, it does.  It is unique and special, irreplaceable, and music to somebody’s soul.



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