She was able to recall the sound of the double "o," the "ch," "th," and what she referred to as a "quiet little 'e'" at the end of certain words, the one that makes the difference between "not" and "note." To say the least, I was ecstatic. Her father and I both being avid readers, Natalie could very well have the same lust for the written word, and that area of the parental mind that always pines away for the possibility that spawn will emulate spawner started ticking away at innumerable scenarios.
-- Natalie begging for trips to the bookstore, and perhaps hanging out there as a teenager for hours at a time.
-- Natalie staying up all hours of the night with her nose buried in the latest in a series of novels. Maybe The Sword of Shannara, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter.
-- Natalie being the only kid in her class to tote along an 800 page book to read just for fun, possibly facing ire and alienation from most of her peers, but gaining a certain measure of respect and/or fascination from her teachers and smarter friends.
Okay, so by the sounds of that, part of me is hoping that Natalie will be exactly like her mother was. At least the bookworm part. It's not that I think raising a carbon-copy of myself would exactly be a good thing for society or that I think she'll get into less trouble than most kids her age. After all, even a nerdy little bibliophile can sneak a boy into her house or stay out way after curfew with her friends and get grounded (*cough*), but it would be nice to have another little person in the world who can appreciate the infinite value and impact of a limitless imagination.
She's only just getting started, of course. Nat won't understand for awhile why "mould" and "could" don't rhyme, and other little idiosyncrasies of the English language that confound and frustrate millions of adults to this very day, but I can see before her so many possibilities now. To be a child surrounded by millions indecipherable letters, words, and symbols, and then to suddenly gain a sense of clarity and familiarity with them, and then to eventually befriend and gain the ability to manipulate them -- there is power in that. I hope she uses it to her advantage.