(L-R: Christine, Marie, Amber - 1998)
Ten years after my first children was born, I was divorced from their father, had put myself through nursing school and become a RN and I was happily married to my current spouse - and we had our one and only child together.
I love my children equally, but because of the age difference, I've found myself growing very close to my youngest child, my baby. By the time Christine started to school, her older sisters were already out of the house. She has basically been raised as an only child.
One thing my youngest daughter and I have in common is our love of reading. I read to Christine when she was in the womb and I continued reading to her until she thought she was too old to be read to. When she was younger, we both enjoyed many of the same books and we discovered new books together. We both fell in love with HARRY POTTER and then she discovered her own love of LORD OF THE RINGS.
Then a funny thing happened when my baby entered high school. I quickly noticed her reading interests were taking a serious turn from my reading interests. No longer content with serial books, main stream books or bestsellers, my daughter was reading such authors as Iain Banks, Chuck Palahniuk, Jeffrey Eugenides and Cormac McCarthy. Where I love to read Stephen King, Laurell K. Hamilton and Patricia Cornwell, she would much rather be reading Annie Proulx, Chris Bohjalian and Irvine Welsh.
Quickly my daughter's reading skills and absorption rate ran circles around mine. No longer content with fluffy reads and predictable story lines, her reading was a means to absorb more information about the world around her. I tell everyone:
.... My daughter loves to dig deep and find meaning,
And just like to skim along the surface and have fun ...
Although I miss the times when I would read Christine to sleep, we have adapted new reading rituals to observe. We still read together, we just read different books. The joy is being present in the same room or even on the same couch and enjoying the atmosphere of reading.
Am I sad because my daughter has bypassed me intellectually? No, I am so proud of her and I wouldn't change a thing. Just as my daughter understands I like to escape into my books and try to read away daily stresses.
Now, I you'll excuse me, I need to do some skimming ...