This morning in Mexico, I was preparing a breakfast of Froot Loops and Zucaritas! (Frosted Flakes) for my two favorite niños, Emily and Christian. In my very, very limited Spanish, I asked Emily, “Con leche?” With milk? To which she answered, “Si, por favor.” Yes, please. (Emily is very polite, even in Spanish… must be good parenting.)
So, I retrieved the carton of milk from the fridge, which was packaged in a very European-style box. (Except obviously, this is also Mexican-style packaging. I just didn’t realize it until now.) Until this point, I had done everything with a flourish to entertain Christian and Emily. Good morning, darlings, can I pour you a bowl of cereal for breakfast? And which one would you like– we have honey nut cheerios, froot loops, and zu-ca-RI-tas!
But then I had to open the milk.
Ok, self, you are a PhD-educated adult. This carton of milk with NOT defeat you. Use your super-sized problem-solving skills and big, fat, human brain to open this carton. And while you’re doing it, turn your back to the kids so they don’t see you struggle.
But then I noticed it– LEVANTE! Lev… lev… lev… wingardium LEViosa? LIFT?!
Oh, I’m sorry, are you unfamiliar with Harry Potter? There is a great scene in the first book/movie (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) where Hermione schools Ron on this levitation spell. It’s wingardium leviOsa not wingardium leviosA!
And yes, I thought of wingardium LEVisosa before I thought of LEVitate. But think about that for kids… and the incredible impact that reading can have on a child’s capacity to understand words. Words through context, words through roots, words through association. That’s awesome!
I went to school for over 20 years and studied lots of different things, but I really think I learned most of the important life-kind-of-things that I know by reading books. Good books and not-so-good books, I learn something from every single one…
(Whose the nerd now, Tom?!)