Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Auntie Creates Her Own Tradition

Photo By Daniel Galan

When my friends P and A had their first daughter, AB, I decided to start a tradition that has lasted for 13 years- Upon each visit to see her, I would bring her a new book, with an inscription and signature from her "Titi" (Spanish diminutive for Tia). I carried this tradition with M and A and my nephew as well.

One of the things that happened was that a ritual and a new library was born. AB would be waiting at the door, anticipating my arrival. She would walk me into the kitchen, hovering near my bags to see what new treasure I had brought her. My nephew when he is reading his books with his mama will say, "Titi buyed me this?" or "This is from Titi!" or "I want to read Titi's book that she gave me". M would always insist upon reading the inscription first. Even as early as one years old she could find the books I gave her. She would look for the heart that I signed with my name, point to it and call my name. I became part of the conversation when I wasn't there.

M, AB, their siblings, and yes, my almost 3 year old nephew, all LOVE to read. They love to read and choose to read, on their own, for long extended periods of time. How wonderful- especially in this video-mania, wii-frenzy world we live in.

While I know that I am an 'Over the Top Tia- Auntie', it has been fun to find ways to connect the kids in my life and to grow a common love of books with them at such a young age. Bringing books instead of a bottle of wine (or maybe sometimes in addition) to dinner parties or picnics- can win the hearts of those you love! Be sure to sign them. Write a little brief note. They will love to reread those notes over and over!

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