Last night, Ricky and Deborah just snuggled with me. We were reading Heidi, and Deborah asked if she could braid my hair, and Ricky hugged me and looked at me like I was Miss America. We only read for ten minutes, but that was enough.
Why do I find reading to my children so satisfying? Why does a chapter of a good story make me feel like I’ve got it together? Maybe it’s because reading is the antithesis of housekeeping. The words aren’t scattered all over the pages or flung on the floor, but organized in neat little quiet rows. Those words lay perfectly still, patiently waiting for me to read them. Some of them have been waiting for years. They don’t whine or tell me to hurry up but just wait, and when I finally read them out loud, they whisper a little “thank you” to me. Their whispers are the most calming thing in the world to me.
And the accumulation of those words—well, they change you. They put you in different places, and when you are sitting up in a cabin in the Swiss Alps, all of the junk you’re dealing with down below seems remote if only for a few minutes. (And next week, we are going to Germany to actually see the Swiss Alps!) Those words put spirit back into you and keep you fighting just a little bit longer, keep you kind just a little bit longer, and maybe, just maybe, help you love just a little bit more. Those words pull words out of your children that you would never hear otherwise. While reading about Heidi and her grandfather roasting cheese over their open fire, Ricky said, “I’ve noticed that smoke is kind of hot.” Out of the mouth of babes.
Want to join us? You can read the same books with us or choose your own. You can read right before bed or right before school. You can read sitting up or lying down or upside down, but we’d sure love to have you
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What book did you last read to your kids?