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Home  >  Family and Community  >  Family Collections  >  Lax
The Lax Family On Sharing
By Andromeda Romano-Lax

"How did you become such a good reader?" I asked my son Aryeh, who read his first word, "loon," at the age of 3 and now, two years later, reads fluently.

"Because I always see you reading," he answered. "I wanted to learn to do it, too."

That's a more succinct answer than any I could have given. It's also, I realize, the central theme in all our family writings on this website. Reading, writing and family life are all woven together in our book-cluttered home. (Note to fellow parents: We believe that raising eager readers requires the strategic placement of tempting books, pens and paper on every possible surface in the house. Or at least that's our excuse for the mess.)

Aryeh and Tziporah Lax
We read more because we read together, and we are brought together, in part, because we all love reading. Reading aloud by wine-scented candlelight became a Friday night ritual when my husband, Brian, and I were newlyweds. He recalls those happy, besotted days in his essay. Reading aloud as a family is how we calmed the colicky son who entered our lives a few years later. I dedicated my essay to memories of that coping strategy, which has continued as our family has grown to include a baby girl.

Now that Aryeh can read alone, quietly, he has earned the right to sit in the special papasan chair in my home office, turning pages while, just inches away, I cobble together books and articles as a freelance writer. He is a rare kindergartner, understanding both how to read and how books are made. (During the book editing process, I can usually find something meaningful for him to do with a highlighter. With my help, he also loves to dictate and illustrate his own handmade publications, which started as tiny, barely legible comic books and have recently culminated in a respectable full-sized 6-page book, including a table of contents and an alphabetized index.)

Tziporah, 1, is following in her brother's footsteps as a voracious page-turner; she is lucky to have a brother who will read aloud to her after Brian and I have lost interest in the day's tenth reading of "Inside Outside Upside Down." Reading aloud as a family is our primary form of evening entertainment, especially during dark Alaska winters. There's no better match for the howl of Arctic winds than the comforting sound of pages turning.

Writing about our family for this web site helped us realize how much our literary life revolves around sharing. We thank you, the web-reader, for extending this sharing process one step further.

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About the Author: Andromeda Romano-Lax's book about her family's journey to Mexico, Searching for Steinbeck's Sea of Cortez: A Makeshift Expedition Along Baja's Desert Coast, is forthcoming from Sasquatch Books in September 2002. Andromeda is a free-lance journalist and the author of several guidebooks to Alaska and Mexico.

Brian Lax teaches environmental education at the Campbell Creek Science Center and is working on a children's book about the changing ecology of the North Pacific.

Aryeh Lax, 7, enjoys playing soccer and doing art projects late at night. Tziporah Lax, 4, loves warm beaches, swimming, and hearing stories. They are both homeschooled.

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