Read Them Their Riches

My sister sent me a quote today that she had put on a CD she made for my daughter when she was pregnant for her first baby.  It reads:

“You may have tangible wealth untold;

Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

Richer than I you can never be-

I have a mother who read to me.”

                         – Strickland W. Gillian

All those nights when I was so tired I prayed silently that they would just sit and let me read quietly.  Calm them.  Rest me.  And feel their little selves press in to me as I read.  Did I skip a page or two?  I hang my head to tell you I did.   But I redeemed myself the nights I  got in to a good rhyme in Fraggle Rock!  Oft is the time I sat there, or even stood upon the couch, and kept reading out loud.   Some may call it shouting.  After they climbed down from the couch to go play.    I would yell over their clamoring around because I had to finish that awesome line.  You cannot stop before you do the rhyme.

I think of the nights they grabbed the books on their own and I couldn’t read enough for them.

I think of the nights they repeated the words.  Learning Spanish from the Sesame books.

I think of the nights they drew all over the books trying to write something for me to read.   Usually they had to decipher their early writings for me because I wasn’t smart enough to read their language.

I think of the night when the much older step children would stop what they were doing and listen along.

I think of the nights when the older girls read to the little ones.  And it was I who enjoyed the  listen.

And for all of the things I lament about that I did wrong, or could have done better, or different, or….

For all of the parenting questions I have or had, I know I never went wrong when I read to my children.

These riches we share, my child and I.