Ella has been on the verge of reading for months. She'd read parts of pages then get frustrated and stop when she ran into too many words that she didn't know. I understood what she was doing; I do the same thing. It's why I quit playing tennis. I'd get so angry that I couldn't hit perfect forehands each and every time, so angry that I wouldn't want to play any more.
She also memorized large passages of her favorite books - Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish, Go Dog Go - and would recite them without looking at the page. She'd "read" those books to Lily at bedtime, and Lily would be so thrilled that her sister was reading to her.
But now, it's all finally clicked. I realized it the other day when she was resting in our bed because she was home from school sick. She had a book in there with her, and I asked if she was reading or looking at pictures. She rolled her eyes and said in her best teenage voice, "I'm reading, of course." Later, I asked what story she had read and she told me all about it. It was clear that Ella really had read and comprehended the story.
She has also started reading signs and postings, which catches me off guard. Yesterday in the car she started reading the names of stores and asking what they sold. And when I went to read her some instructions posted on the wall, she stopped me and said she could read them herself.
I'm beyond thrilled that Ella is reading and that so far she likes doing it. Reading is my favorite thing to do. I can't go to sleep at night without spending some time reading in bed. I always have a stack of books next to the bed and one or two hidden in the covers. I changed Ella's sheets the other day and found a stash of her books tucked away in her bed and was so proud - like mother, like daughter.
For Christmas I got her a subscription to Spider magazine. It's a kids' publication with short stories and poems. Brandon refers to it as the New Yorker for the kindergarten set. I hope she likes having her own magazine arrive each month.