Friday, January 23, 2009
The doors are open....
to a new and wonderful world!
My daughter has a learning disability as well as dyslexia. When I first learned this, I was devastated. Not only as a mother and an author, but as child who escaped into books that made me dream, made me become something I wasn't, or took me to places I could never dream of going to. I grieved for her, and how she would not be able to take joy in a past time that I treasure~at least not without frustration and much help and support.
Everything about reading is hard for her. But she's coping, and learning, and improving. She's such a smart little thing, and wonderfully creative. Speaking to her, you would never know she 'lacked' in any area. But beneath the smiling facade is a girl who would desperately would love to read chapter books.
Her reading ability is not there, unfortunately. But the mind is willing~no~craving that experience. Her friends are all busy reading things that she cannot manage. We've had tears. We've had the "I'm so stupid" conversation, and we've had a breakthrough in technology that allows people with disabilities to delve into books, that at one time, were only for the literate.
I discovered audio books this Christmas for my daughter when she begged me to read Twilight to her. We had seen the movie already, and she knew I was a fan of the series. She loves Edward. Wants to be Bella when she goes to high school. Even though I wanted to encourage her, I didn't want to read Twilight to her, because, well, a book like that is a personal experience. So, I found it on audio and my daughter came to me last night and flopped down on the couch. "Mom, I finished Twilight" she says, and she's so proud,I can see it. "It was so good. Do you think you could find the next one for me?"
This is the moment I've been living for, the time when my daughter would be a voracious reader, a time when she would stop everything and bury her nose in a book.
Fifteen years ago she would have suffered, no only by being labeled in school, but because the technology of the age had not been discovered.
I believe the novel is here to stay. I believe that holding a book in your hands and stroking the cover and feeling the pages beneath your fingertips is part of the reading experience. But to those who cannot read, for whatever reason, they are no longer denied the magical experience that 'paper readers' have long took for granted.
Last night, we went to a little coffee shop uptown. It's a place that's hip to hang out and sip a Chai latte. They have a couple of fireplaces and some comfy club chairs. I usually bring a book. My daughter brought her audio book, and sat across from me, sipping hot chocolate. I saw her smile as she looked out the window, then she pressed the paused button.
"I'm at my favorite part, when Bella first meets Edward."
And I realized then, that my daughter was 'reading' her book-- yet again! And loving it as much as I did, the first time I held Twilight in my hands.
There are some things in this world that I wish weren't invented, but there are some things that I'd never wish away again.
What's your love/hate technology?
Posted by Charlotte Featherstone at 7:23 AM