When Mary was two and I was four, I taught her the alphabet. Mom set up a chalkboard in the kitchen, and I wrote the letters with soft yellow chalk, using the skills I had learned from watching Sesame Street and eavesdropping on my brothers’ homeschool lessons.
The only letters that gave me trouble were the lowercase “m” and “n.” I couldn’t remember how many bumps followed the short vertical line. Mom drew those for me.
I couldn’t actually read at that point, but I knew the alphabet was the first step— and I wasn’t going to leave Mary behind.