D.E.A.R. Daughter

Happily, she loves reading, too.

We’re only halfway through summer vacation and have nearly run out of fun. No, that’s not true. There’s still plenty of fun to be had. But I’m tired of inventing it.

“Go play,” I tell the kids.

“It’s too hot!” they say.

“Fine, stay inside,” I say. “But no more television. It’s going to rot your brains.”

“Well, what can we do?”

It’s pointless to remind them for the 5,296th time that when I was their age, not only did I walk uphill in the rain both ways to school every day, but I also was able to figure out how to entertain myself in the summer months—without relying upon my mother to tell me what to do.

“Drop Everything And Read,” I say, snapping off the television and thrusting the nearest book into their hands.

I don’t know whose idea it originally was, but the suggestion to drop everything and read was such a fantastic one that it earned its own day, designed to remind and encourage families to make reading together on a daily basis a priority. National D.E.A.R. Day is sponsored by HarperCollins Children’s Books, the National Education Association (NEA); Parent Teacher Association (PTA); the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), and other organizations, and is celebrated on April 12, the birthday of Beverly Cleary, author of the Ramona Quimby books.

But it isn’t limited to April 12; there should be D.E.A.R. time everyday. Especially in the summer–when mommy is in desperate need of a break.