Since Sprite was an infant, I’ve read aloud to her. She’s close to ten years old, and I still read to her. She loves to listen as she sets up little worlds with her toys, sketches scenes from her imagination, or molds clay figures. Besides the pure enjoyment of a good book, I love how we share the stories. We learn new words together and use them with a grin of a shared secret. Last night the word was hoyden – a bold and boisterous girl – quite a useful word and likely to get heavy mileage between us! The experiences of the characters tend to weave themselves into our daily conversations as if these people were our relatives or neighbors.
But one of the best parts of reading aloud to my daughter is the sequel. Several days are spent, reading an engrossing book. When it finally comes to a close, there’s that bittersweet feeling of regret – it’s over; there’s no more. Next is the part I adore. I go over to the shelf and pull down the sequel. I show it to Sprite and say the title outloud. Her eyebrows go up and her mouth pops open in realization. There’s another book?! The adventure goes on?! That instant in time etches itself onto my memory as one of those perfect mom moments– seeing her face, feeling my sneaky triumph, sharing in her anticipation. Having a sequel is a beautiful thing.