Storytime For Life
Depending on who is designated story reader for the night, the stories range from adventurous knights to flitting fairies and everything in between. Even on nights when my eyes burn and my back aches, as long as their dad is in charge of brushing teeth and zipping up footy pajamas, I am always ready to read a story.
I love the way their expectant faces look up at me, “what book are we reading tonight?” Even the back and forth chatter of who wants what and whose turn it is to choose makes me smile. Story time is special and should be treasured.
See, I have proof of its importance. I am a product of bedtime stories. My mother stayed home with my sister and me. And now that I myself am a mother of two, I can only imagine how tired she was by the end of the day.
So, every night my father would walk the stairs to our room, sit right between us and begin to read. We were captivated by the stories of boys and girls, not unlike us, and their trials and triumphs, their adventures and day to day life. We looked forward to stories read by the deep baritone voice of my father.
He would ask questions about the story, listen as we evaluated and made judgements on the subject matter. Or maybe we just laughed and made silly comments. Maybe I am overestimating my five year old self.
Then, after prayers, he would brush his whiskered face against our cheeks and wish us a good night. We fell asleep knowing our father didn’t just love us but loved spending time with us. He was there, one hundred percent, for us, for our ideas, opinions, thoughts.
We think the things we do when our children are three and five are just to pass the time, something to do. But what we’re really doing is creating a safe environment for them to be themselves, not just today but every day of their lives. Because believe me when I say this, we don’t stop needing our parents the day we move out of the house. If they were there for us when we were five, then we know they’ll be there for us at thirty-five.
I hope my children remember story time fondly. I hope they remember the hugs and kisses. I really hope they read to their children someday, so they too can know how good it feels to be loved unconditionally. I hope they let me keep reading to them for a very long time.