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.