I was late to your party, I thought I had experienced audio books and didn’t feel the need to add one more digital subscription to my life. I feel like I should apologize for those early thoughts seeing as how you have become such a huge influence in my day to day life.
I am a person who does not have dyslexia, living with three people who do. Two of them are my children and it took me awhile to figure all that out. I thought that maybe my kids were late bloomers, or I had not spent enough time on spelling, or they weren’t trying very hard or I hadn’t found the right kind of books to get them hooked on independent reading. Then one day, my husband was working from home and got the “up-close and personal” view of our homeschool day. “Hmmmm,” he said, “hearing the kids go through their school day reminded me a lot of my own frustrations in school. Dyslexia can be genetic, we should have them tested.”
The rest is history, or maybe I should say a new beginning. A beginning that had me whole heartedly determined that my kids were not going to miss out on a love of literature. But there is the reality that I cannot read out loud all day every day, also some books are HARD to read out loud and some don’t interest me, like what ever book came after “The Lightening Thief”! Audible doesn’t get tired or loose it’s voice, Audible doesn’t have to stop to switch the laundry or make dinner, Audible doesn’t force my kids to ONLY listen to “mom-approved quality” literature, it offers them everything, all the time.
That’s the first part, you helped my kids, and that’s huge but you also helped us as a family. You’ve given us shared friends, shared stories, shared experiences. We spent a month of evenings listening to, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas” together. We laughed, held our breath, sighed with relief, and occasionally fell asleep together. We loved the shared time so much that we did “The Wind in the Willows” right after it. A long car trip would not be complete without a “Harry Potter” book, but we’ve sprinkled in dozens of others for the shorter trips in our life. A few favorites are “The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict”, “The Chronicles of Prydain”, “Whittington”. Without this audio option my husband would miss out on all of these stories, all of these experiences and people that my kids talk about.
Please keep adding to your library, please keep improving based on the suggestions of your loyal community, please keep your costs affordable so anyone and everyone can enjoy the beauty of being read a story.
Your loyal customer and big fan,
My youngest is 9 years old, the last of his single digit years. He’s an old soul, possesses an inner calm, he has not out grown his righteousness streak and I wonder if it’s simply a part of his character. He is quietly bold, I feel his presence deeply at the times he does NOT say something or does NOT react to provocation. That said, one of my great joys is to hear him wax poetic about something – anything! Like most lightly spoken people, when they DO say something, you want to listen! Once tidy, he now prefers his room……un-tidy. He has a best friend, he has a more complicated relationship with his sister that is more about choice than just being related. He holds my hand or his sister’s hand or his dad’s hand when we walk places. He gives me a morning hug and asks to be tucked in to bed at night. He loves being read to and got into biographies about Robert E. Lee this year. He also found a love for Stephen Foster, arguably America’s first pop star, you many know him from “O Susannah”. He likes Rick Riordan books, J. K. Rowling, the “Wings of Fire” series, “Johnny Tremain” and “Where The Red Fern Grows” also top his list. He skied his first black slope this year and put us all to shame on the mogals. He is kind, honest and brave.
My daughter, my fearless wonder, is 11 but if you ask her how old she is, she may reply, “I’m almost 13”. It seems she may choose to jump over year 12 altogether! She decided to quit dancing this year, which was a brave, wonderful choice. She has found a joy in art – painting, drawing, clay work, I can see this being a steady thing in her life. She’s thinking about what she’d like to be when she grows up, the answers are costume designer, architect, inventor. She struggles with school everyday and gets very sad when the results don’t line up with her expectations, it breaks my heart. But try she does and after a pep talk she’s ready to plunge in again and again. She has an excellent memory and if you get the chance to hear her recite poetry you are in for a treat. She loves being read to and always asks for another chapter when our time is up. She fell in love with “Anne of Green Gables” this year and all I can think is “of course,” she is SO like Anne. In our homeschool group of foam sword duels and nerf gun wars, she is considered one of the best fighters, even among the older kids. She is often elected the leader of the teams and relishes creating maps and assigning each player’s duties. She’s a loner, she’s courageous, she looks out for the little ones – whether little in spirit or in size. She loves animals, she still loves Toca Boca games, she could eat a hamburger and chocolate shake everyday if I let her, she sings along with the radio and dances in the car, she plays legos and likes to keep her room tidy (this is a new development).
For all the young mamas and papas out there, who are just getting started with their families, I send you love, support, encouragement, peace, and rest.
Today my kids are 9 and 11, since I wasn’t in the habit of blogging when 8 and 10 commenced, I wrote my thoughts down in a good old fashion journal.
At 8 years old you so aware, so curious, so thoughtful about the world around you. You are fast, you are strong, you love Harry Potter books and your cat, Goodman. You’ve made a best friend, your first beyond your sister and this family. You received your First Communion and asked so many great questions through out the whole process it made me consider religious education in a new light. You enjoy more space from your sister this year, you are putting more importance in your own voice instead of always deferring to her. I still get one of your amazing morning hugs every morning, you still like to be tucked in at night, you are still not very good at brushing your teeth – this might be a personality thing? You have some of the neatest hand writing I’ve ever seen on an 8 year old – boy or girl. I love you more.
At 11 years old some changes are definitely afoot. You are sleepy again, almost like a toddler, your emotions can overwhelm you and bring you way down or raise you way up – this scares you a bit and we are learning to ride these waves together. Your love of dance continues and you had your first year preforming with the competitive dance team, you LOVE performing. Ballet has replaced hip-hop as your preferred style of dance. You are clever, funny, sincere, innocent, beautiful and vulnerable. You let things in, you try things out, you remain one of the most fearless people I’ve ever encountered. I love you more too.
And sometimes it can feel like nothing changes during those 365 days. I turned 40, I joined Instagram – to look at others, not to post (for now), I have gray hairs, I’m better at homeschooling, I started watching “Fixer-Upper” along with most of Texas. My kids are now 9 and 11 and life feels very sweet.
Here’s what Addie’s looks like:
We are finishing the floors throughout the house this month with a dark stain. We found a really cool carpenter who loves old windows as much as we do. He plans to rebuild the original windows and will travel from Ft. Worth to Camden to install them personally!
On the homeschooling front I’ve signed up for my first homeschooling conference through these guys: Wild and Free Most of my school mornings begin with either a glance at their Instagram account or Courtney Adamo’s. It puts my head in the nicest place and my kids reap the rewards of a calmer (more calm?) mama/teacher.
Last but not least, we found these kittens abandoned at our local park, if anyone in the DFW area knows of someone looking for a new pet or pets please comment below.