He hated reading growing up. He hated school, too. He wasn't diagnosed as dyslexic until the end of his sophomore year in high school. There are a lot of people to blame there, but he wouldn't. Imagine going that long and not understanding why it's so much harder for you than everyone else. Imagine a childhood without dragons or fairies, without swords fights or interplanetary adventures.
Imagine people expecting you to be able to dunk a basketball, but not being surprised that there were words you were unable to read. Now imagine what it feels like to have your daughter climb into your lap and ask you to read her a book.
The only children’s books my husband has ever read are the ones he’s read to our daughter. There is so much sad in his story, but watching him lose himself in an adventure while reading about mice and cookies or soft-spoken bulls, makes me smile through those tears, because I know where this story is going.
One day, when our daughter is older and she wants to reminisce, she’ll ask him. She’ll ask her father what his favorite children’s book was growing up, and I know his answer will make them both smile. He’ll tell her again about the mice and cookies, about the soft-spoken bull, about the pirates of Neverland, and the gardens kept secret. She’ll remember what it felt like to be small and held safe. She’ll remember the silly voices, the scary part shivers, and how, as it grew later and later, the stories turned into dreams. My husband didn’t fall in love with books until he fell in love with a little girl, and that’s my favorite story.