I’ve always loved to read. As a kid, I would devour books nightly as the rest of my family lay sound asleep, barely keeping my eyes open the next day at school. I have fond memories of my mom tearing up as Charlotte took her last breaths and recognizing my brother and I in Judy Blume’s The Pain and the Great One. I simply could not get enough. Reading something I want my children to value as well, and I really want to love reading to them. But, lately, they’re making it pretty damn tough.
Our evening reading routine begins with the Great Battle of the Books. Lily and Ben each pick out two books and immediately compare the lengths of them. If one is deemed longer, thicker or somehow superior, the chorus of “not fairs” commences. It’s another five minutes before the ultimate choices are settled on. Then we need to choose a location: Lily’s Room where Ben is not allowed on the bed or Ben’s where Lily fusses the whole time. Finally situated on the floor somewhere, there are fights over just how much lap each is allotted. There is pushing, screaming and hair pulling until everyone is settled in. Once I open the book, I’m accused of skipping pages if I don’t read the the very first words. Published by Simon & Schuster, I begin with a sigh. And on to the story. “Wait, go back!” and “that’s not what it says” and “let me see that again!” echo again and again. Can I just please read the book, I sigh countless times.
Once we finish one book, the same routine continues with the others. And, finally, story time draws to a close. Thank goodness. Inevitably I’m asked to read the same ones again, and the answer is always a resounding no. Until the next night when the fun begins all over.
I really love to read. At least, I thought I did.