When the time came for our precious (and precocious) first born to start school, I was a little concerned. His summer birthday made him the youngest in his class. We hadn't sent him to preschool since we had a live in caregiver, so I was a little worried about his socialization skills. My sister had trained under his kindergarten teacher and admired her greatly. I got the impression she was a bit intimidating.
So we went to the first parent teacher meeting with some trepidation. After introductions, the first words out of his teacher's mouth were "Someone has read to this child." I said we did read to him, but he hadn't learned to read yet. She said it didn't mattered, what mattered was that he clearly had been read to, a lot. She went on to say that a surprisingly large percentage of children arrived in school not even knowing how a book worked: they don't know how the pictures and words work together, or that a book begins at one cover and ends at the other. "Your son understands how books work. That's the most important thing. Getting the meaning of the words will come to him."
I never read to my kids because it was the right thing to do. I read to them because I like to read and they enjoyed being read to. I read Good Night Moon so many times that I could hold the book up and recite the whole thing without even looking as I turned the pages. We kept at it past kindergarten too, I read most of the Harry Potter books aloud to one or both kids, for example.
When I have wondered at times what I have done right or wrong as a mother, this moment has always come back to be as a shining atta girl.
"Someone has read to this child"
It was one of my best parenting wins.