Never thought I'd be so excited about a book called The Ugly Guide To Being Alive And Staying That Way

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This sight not only made my heartsong pelt out a loud and happy tune, but also took an enormous weight off my shoulders. My daughter picked up a book… and read it cover to cover!

I knew she had been teaching herself to read for a long time now. Hours spent squirreled away up in her room, her floor littered with chapter books, picture books, bird magazines, cat magazines, comics, you name it. But she preferred to sound things out and figure things out in private. Without. (Sob!) Me. No phonics lessons. No sitting on my lap while we took turns reading sentences.

Nope, this mysterious, lovely, chocolate haired beautiful soul of a daughter did things her own way, as usual. Wanted no part of the *teaching* of reading. Straight to the actual reading. And I was never totally sure what stage of reading she was even in! Sure I knew that she could read functionally — signs and commercials and snippets of words in every day life were navigated with ease… but books? I just didn’t know.

Well, today my daughter emerged from her cocoon, casually picked up an Ugly Doll book right in front of me, and read it cover to cover easily. Laughing to herself over the jokes. Repeating the good parts out loud to me as I was building new guinea pig cages further down on the back porch from her. Those giggles and silences were music to my ears and a joy to my heart. My private reader let me in to her world, and it was well worth the wait!

And where was my son in all this? Right on the other side of the door, in our living room, in his favorite spot of our house — in a sofa fort. It is his favorite routine lately, and it brings my husband and I so much joy to watch him build, destroy, upgrade, sing in, read in, snack in, play in his forts. He loves them totally dark, with little peep holes, a large indoor section and a smaller *outdoor* section… more like a loft. That’s what it is, a sofa loft. He happily takes his stuffed animals, action figures, Nintendo DSi, books, snackage, etc… inside, and totally hooks up his loft. He should have his own show, called Dude, Pimp my Sofa. I wish he’d pimp up our house the way he can magically create worlds out of our sofa. He has skills, people. Skills!

Here he is in a rare sighting emerging from his sofa loft. And folks, there he goes… xoxo