I remember the day Hope read for the first time. We took her out of private school because we were worried that the teachers focused more on how she wrote her "a" than if she enjoyed opening a book. She struggled for a while and then we found a brilliant first grade teacher who didn't care that her penmanship wasn't perfect and praised her for every tiny effort and step forward. Tony and I took turns tutoring her on basic phonics, always remembering to impart that books were things to be treasured, not conquered.
We took a trip to Hesperia, where my husband is from and decided to drive the kids to San Diego so they could see where mommy and daddy were boyfriend/girlfriend. It was on the freeway, while we talked and sang that I heard a small voice say Holiday Inn. After the 5th Holiday Inn, I twisted around and looked towards the back seat where Hope was sitting. She was pointing and reading signs on buildings!! She was amazed that there were so many Holiday Inns by the side of the road.
I think I cried, but I can't be sure.