The Tragic Optimist

Yes read the book!

Watching Zoe learn to read has been one of those crazy things.  In a way, it’s very reminiscent of when she was first learning to talk.  Before starting kindergarten, she had one or two words she recognized (“no”, “on”, and “zoo”), but then she started coming home with small simple books, and she’d work hard and slowly and we’d get through them.  And then the books got more complicated.  And thank goodness, too, because listening to Zoe read the first one, that first time was awesome, I think I may have been more excited than Zoe was when she got through that first book.  But after listening to those really early reader books for the twenty-third time? Well, it was a bit tedious.  Now she’s reading books that have actual plots – they’re still short books, but with real stories, not repeating the same phrase over and over again.   And in just the last couple of days, she’s started reading a ton of other things and I’m realizing just how many words there are all around us on signs and boxes and papers and bumper stickers and buildings…(“Why does the cracker box say ‘open for fun’?” “Does it say ‘Amazon’ on that box?”).  It really is like language acquisition all over again.  Oh, and now that she’s reading, she does have her own library card.  I will admit, I had tears in my eyes when she checked out her own books for the first time.

library card

At our local library, checking out books on her own card!

I haven’t gotten a video of Zoe reading, she’s still self-conscious about it, even though she really does a great job.  But Hazel wanted to get in on the action.  So here she is doing a very dramatic reading of “No No Yes Yes” by Leslie Patricelli.


  1. Naomi

    That is so awesome.

    One of the big shocking milestone moments was when we took newly-literate Molly to Manny’s Tortas, and after ordering her usual torta she looked up at the big menu and said, “and for DESSERT I want that strawberries and cream thing they say they have….” We had never ordered dessert there and had let the girls just assume it wasn’t available. Only SUDDENLY SHE COULD READ MENUS.

  2. Grammy and Pop-Pop

    Her own library card, WOW, the first of many I’m sure!

  3. Grammy and Pop-Pop

    And Hazel’s reading is great. But pretty soon she is surely going to make her voice heard many places.

  4. Wade C Davis

    So proud of her. So happy for you. And another thing to look forward to in the coming years. Thanks for sharing the journey.

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