Julia’s facility with words has always been strong; she was talking as well at two or three as many five-year-olds (including some of her current classmates). Since starting kindergarten, she has, as we expected, rapidly acquired and improved her writing and reading skills. She’s always loved to draw pictures, so being able to label some part of the picture, or to write out all-text stories, is new and wonderful. She’s also quickly complemented her writing abilities with very good, and constantly improving, reading skills. Just this morning, for instance, she read aloud three pages in a kids’ magazine that she’d never seen before.

I’m a bit surprised by how satisfying I find all of this. Undoubtedly because I’m a guy who likes words and who values verbal skills (and who makes his living by writing end editing), I find it immensely pleasing that Julia enjoys writing, reading, learning new words, wordplay, and the like so much. It just feels right that she does.

And that’s only the half of it. Mostly because she wants to do everything and anything that Julia does, Genevieve, too, has quickly and impressively mastered the alphabet (with the curious omission of K, which she refuses to write) and delights in writing, both for particular purposes – birthday cards, thank-you notes, “menus” for playing kitchen – and for pure fun, like this morning when she carefully used big block letters to write “BackYeLLoWaBaBYHappy.” As she told me solemnly after finishing this little bit of preschooler Dada, “It’s a good fing that I dint wite ‘pencilbaby’ again!”

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