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.

31 thoughts on “Read Them Their Riches

  1. My favorite memory with my kids is reading “pumpernickel tickle and mean green cheese”. A silly book they loved because I would do voices and be animated. We still have it and I have made sure we know we’re it is so I will have it for the eventual grandchildren.


  2. I love that quote! I’m jotting it down! I absolutely love children’s books and reading to the kids. I read with my youngest a few hours during the day. At night, Bency and I work on his reading skills and then I read to him before bed. After I get him tucked in, Iris and I read chapter books together and have delightful discussions. After my kids have outgrown being read to I am seriously going to have to borrow other people’s children so I have someone to read with!!


  3. I can never remember that anyone ever read for me .. as child – but I love to listen to voice reading a book for me – like with … audio books. I have read at least 1500 books in total .. but the last 15 years, I have only finished one book. You are the top … one for – issues like that .. and your subjects are so touching and … close to me.
    Fantastic little post, Colleen … wish you and mr brown a fantastic weekend.


    • Thank you Viveka, I hope you have a wonderful weekend and are feeling better.

      I don’t remember others reading to me. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember not being able to read. It’s like I’ve always been able to.

      I’m glad you like my posts. And that we connect through our words.


  4. I love that quote! I keep running into it and today (this morning at 1:31am GMT+8) I needed the reminder.

    I feel guilty when I’m too tired or when I’m trying to finish off the “blogging thing” and can’t read to them. So I make it a point to read to them at night. They do so love it and I can see it “completes” their day when I read aloud to them.

    I’m so happy now that the 5 and 7 year old can read by themselves and the 4 year old is getting there. Our homeschool REQUIRES that we read aloud to our children. The benefits are both short and long term and more than academic.

    Such a lovely post, Colleen. Enjoy your weekend!


    • I am amazed at how much reading with children can do for them. I have seen the difference in children who were not read to/with. For that matter, children who never sat down to family meals, or sang songs with their parents. These things are so valuable. And under appreciated. Thank you for the nice words. And you have a great weekend yourself!


    • Good point about the caskets. I suppose it is in each of our interpretations. I choose jewelry box for this reading. 😉

      It looks like you and I both choose the reading. Our children’s wealth will be untold!!!


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