Reading with My Kids: A Mother’s Day Tribute
I had originally planned this Mother’s Day post to be a round-up of mother-themed titles, and while I personally do buy a few picture books each year to give myself for Mother’s Day (my kids like to make me “art” and my husband tends to go with jewelry) I found myself thinking about mothers and reading in a broader way while writing this. Books were always one of the most important parts of my life, and I have been a passionate reader since my childhood. While my parents did their part to encourage this, through library trips, bookstore visits and modeling reading behavior themselves, I think one of the most significant things they did to foster our love of books was to read aloud to us every single night. Even when I was feeling far too old to sit through a few chapters a night, my parents still read to us. I remember making our way through Where the Red Fern Grows, Half Magic, and Elizabeth Enright’s Melendy family books when I must have been almost thirteen, piling onto my little sister’s bed and letting my mom’s voice lull me into sleepiness.
Now that I have kids of my own, I do my own bedtime reading with my kids. Since I work in publishing, I stocked their libraries with “the best” children’s books, a mix of classics and newer, well-reviewed picks. What I didn’t count on, of course, is that kids decide on their own what books they love, which in our case means we’ve read Goodnight Moon about ten thousand times, and that Disney Princess Little Golden Book Favorites has become central to my daughter’s bedtime routine. Sure, I get tired of reading the same books over and over, and there have been many times I’ve brought home picture books that I believed to be the perfect marriage of art and text, only to have my daughter reject them for completely random reasons (the cover had blue on it, she doesn’t want a story about animals, she wants to read Princess and Fairy yet again). But I wouldn’t trade those few, quiet moments of the day for anything. We curl up in a tiny twin bed, get cozy, and read. Soon my kids will know how to read on their own, and will choose the books for me, but I plan to keep our story time ritual as long as I possibly can. It’s definitely one of the sweetest parts of my day.
Wishing all of you book-loving mothers and grandmothers a Happy Mother’s Day! If you have any sweet memories of reading with your own mom or your kids that you would like to share, please do so in the comment section!