Posted by: jeannineatkins | March 23, 2010

Daughters and Dads Reading

A few weeks ago I mentioned here that my daughter had been laid off from her job in public relations. She learned not just from hearsay or newspapers what it’s like to stand among cardboard boxes as people cleared out cubicles, gave each other hugs, and promised to keep in touch. Emily’s wonderful boss kept that promise and helped her land a new job, which she started yesterday. And during her job search, Emily contacted someone at Reach Out and Read Los Angeles. She was told they could barely pay one person, but if she had time to give, please come in and talk.

Apparently the talk lasted four hours. That night, Emily set up a Facebook account for this literacy organization that gets books into the hands of children before they’ve entered school. And two days ago she started a blog where she represents them! In the comments to her first entry, my husband quoted a favorite line from Calvin and Hobbes, collected comics which he read to her when she was about in fourth grade. “BATS AREN’T BUGS!” was yelled by the entire class after shirker Calvin tried to fake his way through an oral report. ‘BATS AREN’T BUGS!” was yelled by father and daughter reading together, and sent them into giggles.

In the next entry, Emily addresses dads and daughters reading, with a link to a touching article in last Sunday’s New York Times. And where can these childhood rituals take you? Maybe to writing a blog. I hope you’ll visit the one Emily is writing for Reach Out and Read and maybe join in the discussion about fathers and children reading, or what makes a good read-aloud book.

You know I couldn’t feel more proud.


  1. SO glad Emily got a new job! And isn’t it amazing how things just sometimes fall into our way? Hooray for Emily and the new blog and her wonderful efforts on behalf of Reach out and Read LA! And look at that photo! Adorable :).

  2. Lovely! And congratulations to Emily! You must be so proud! I bookmarked her blog!

  3. HOORAY!!!!!!!!

  4. Thanks for your cheers, Jama. And so sweet of you to comment on Em’s blog.
    Re the photo: fyi, of course I am the one in the family who does not look a minute older now that Em is 21.

  5. Thanks, Debbi! Isn’t it great that Em is doing something to promote literacy in one of your hometowns!

  6. So nice to get great news!

  7. YAY!!!!!!!

  8. Emily’s blog is wonderful and on my blog list. I loved the story about The Streak–made me wistful that no one ever read to me as a child. And I love Calvin and Hobbes! You raised a right good child there. Be proud!

  9. You have quite a daughter. 🙂 Will be checking out her blog right now. I am SO GLAD she was able to land a new job. Cheering for her!

  10. Thank you for sending us to Emily’s blog, Jeannine. I love that NYTimes article, and I’ve just lost an hour looking through photo albums for pictures of my husband reading to our kids. Oh, Memory Lane!

  11. I’m proud of her, too. 🙂 So glad she’s employed again and so happy she’s started that blog. Wow, isn’t it cool how things work out sometimes?

  12. Laura, thank you for the big cheer and your darling fimo (that’s the right term, yes?) girl in pink pants!

  13. Thank you for everything, Candice! And I’m sorry, too, that no one read to you as a child. Obviously you got over it, but: that’s just a little bit sad. There were many things my parents got wrong, I’m sorry to say, but I will treasure always my dad’s voice reading Winnie-the-Pooh.

  14. Thank you, Jeni. Yes, I am very proud. As a mom it hurt to see her hurt when she got laid off, but I’m so proud she bounced back quickly and found her skills needed and appreciated in new places.

  15. Loree, thank you for commenting here on Emily’s blog! Though you are too young to be talking about Memory Lane! I hope you enjoyed your time there, though, and found some cool pictures.

  16. If Emily “meets” even a fraction of the wonderful people who I’ve met through blogging, she will be richly rewarded.
    And yes, I hated to see her hurt by losing a job she loved, but what an experience to realize there are other new great experiences to find in the world.

  17. Amen to that. All of it. 🙂

  18. What a proud Mom you must be!! ;0)
    yay Emily!

  19. There were other compensations: I was the only 10-year-old who could identify the trees by their bark and leaves, birds by their calls and silhouettes, flowers and weeds . . .
    stories about the Shenandoah Valley, different gifts from my parents

  20. You must be smiling enough so your face hurts! Yay for Emily–the new job AND the literacy work. Yay, Mom and Dad!

  21. Yes, very proud! Thanks for the cheer! We’re lucky with our twenty-one-year-old daughters!

  22. You’re right, Becky: sore jaw. Must put my feet back on the floor and get to business. But thank you for celebrating with us!

  23. I can see why you’d be so proud!

  24. In some ways life seemed simpler when my daughter was the age she was in the picture — it’s hard not to worry when your girl is off sort of on her own — but there are great rewards, too!

  25. What a wonderful organization! Congratulations to Emily.

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