The Magic of Readers

By Arlene Lawrence

It was Saturday afternoon when I picked up an incoming call from my daughter.

Barely audible over the shouts of “Mimi, Mimi” coming from what I assumed was the back seat of her car, my daughter said, “Hi Mom, Violet has something she needs to tell you.”

“Mimi, you won’t believe it. I just got reading glasses. They are pink and have flowers and they are for READING!”

“That’s wonderful, honey,” I replied, wondering if she had recently had a vision test and needed to start wearing glasses.

“I am going to bring them with me when I sleep over tonight so that I can read to you” she continued, barely able to contain her excitement.

My daughter cut in, saying “We were at the Dollar Store and Violet picked up a pair of glasses off the display and tried them on. I told her they were magnifying readers to help people when they read. She insisted on trying on a dozen pairs and begged to get a pair, even though I told her she could see just fine.”

When Violet and her brother were dropped off a few hours later, the first thing she did was pull out the adult-sized square reading glasses (with smudged lenses) and put them on.

With a confident glow she stated, “Look Mimi, I have on my readers.”

“Oh, they look fabulous” I told her, “ I know I usually read you a book as soon as you arrive, but we have to leave now to meet your cousins for dinner. So let’s leave your readers here and you can use them tonight when we read a bedtime story.”

We ended up staying out a little later than anticipated and by the time we arrived home, Violet was asleep. Somehow, we got her pajamas on, but a bedtime story was not happening.

Early the next morning, I woke to a whisper in my ear.

“Mimi, Mimi, it’s morning. I have on my readers. Do you want to hear a story?”

I mustered up a groggy “Of course.”

And then, without abandon and with the confidence and determination of a four-year-olds imaginative mind, she proceeded to “read” me not one book, but three. I complimented her after each book, not only on her skill but the power of those incredible readers.

When she was done, she took off the readers and that was that. It was time to get ready for a new day.

To many grandparents, a pair of reading glasses may make it a bit easier to see, but to a young child, they might be just the magic needed to see themselves as an accomplished reader.