"Nothing ensures the success of the child more in society than being read to from infancy to young adulthood. Reading books to and with children is the single most important thing a parent, grandparent, or significant adult can do." --Anna Silvey
I absolutely loved to read as I was growing up. I had a generous sized walk in closet with a large skylight that I would hole up in and pass away the hours devouring books. Some of my favorites were The Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and Little Women. I can't remember how many times I read and reread those lovely stories.
I wanted to pass that love of reading onto my children. I read to them when they were little but I never really had it be part of their bedtime routine due to excuses I would make due to my crazy night schedule. I would try here and there to implement some sort of time during the day that we could sit and snuggle and delight in the wonders only a book can convey but life seeped in and robbed us of our time.
So, I have started now. Part of me feels guilty that I have not done this sooner and part of me is extremely sad that I haven't been sharing this precious moments with my boys all these years. Especially my older ones. Right now I am reading to Luke and Liam on the nights I am not working and occasionally Andrew will listen in. Hopefully I can make it so the older two will be regular listeners but I think those magical years have passed. Although I mentioned I was feeling sad and guilty, I am overjoyed with the memories I am now creating and I am happy that I have finally found a system that works for us.
I will never forget when we were finishing up Charlotte's Web and Luke gasped putting his hands over his mouth when Charlotte died. How the boys laughed their way through James' adventures on his beloved peach. And now, we are in the middle of reading the BFG. Luke comments every day that he wonders what will happen next and is sorely disappointed when I have to work because we miss a day to follow the exploits of the BFG and his heroine.
There are so many other adventures to be had and I love finally sharing them with my boys. There is something magical about these quiet moments right before bedtime because they look forward to it so much and their little minds are being filled with wonder and their imaginations stretched. I hope they continue the tradition with their future children and make it a regular part of their nighttime routine.