I felt steam coming from my ears as I asked Laurel for the fourth time to put down her book so she could safely walk through the grocery store. Her nose had been in her Harry Potter book since I had picked her up from school, and she had barely spoken. She continued to ignore my request – and almost ran into a shelf.
I then told her she couldn’t watch television if she didn’t stop reading right that minute. But without looking up, she said it didn’t matter because she just wanted to read anyway.
Then it hit me that I was once again missing the big picture in my focus on day-to-day parenting. One of my hopes for my kids was that they would love to read and know the pleasure of not being able to put down a great book until they got to the last page. And now I had gotten my wish.
I took a deep breath and tried to figure out how to pick up food for dinner, encourage my daughter’s love of reading and not have her run into fellow shoppers all at the same time.
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I lifted my 10-year-old daughter into the shopping cart basket, which I hadn’t done for years, and pushed her through the aisles while she read the last few pages.
She looked up long enough to smile and say “Thank you, Mommy.” But actually, it was me who should have thanked her for reminding me what was really important.