When I had my first child, I knew that I wanted books to be a major part of his life. I started reading to him when he was just a few weeks old. I had a library of books awaiting his arrival, and we read every day. It was our special time.
Now that I have another child, I find myself sharing special moments through reading with her as well. Often those moments are shared with her older brother and he picks out most of the books (which she enjoys), but once in a while I try to get to spend time with her alone, and we laugh and smile and chat over a few good books.
When I see how much my son lights up as he discovers a new book, my heart smiles. I feel like I did something right when I picked up that first book more than four years ago. He enjoys the library as much as a trip to the park. If he has to choose between a television show and books, he will surely choose a book.
When he is ready for bed, his excitement is obvious. He comes looking for me with a pile in hand—“Mommy, I have four books for us to read tonight!” And now, his sister follows suit, running down the hallway saying, “Mommy… two books.” Frankly, I can’t think of a better way to end a long day than laying on the bed reading stories with my kids. It’s our time to unwind and connect. It’s our way of leaving the day behind—whether good or bad—and getting ready for an adventure that may even lead to sweeter dreams.
I don’t know if my kids will always love books as much as they do now. Of course, I hope that they do. In my opinion, nothing is better than a good day that ends with a good book. But even if their love for books doesn’t turn out to be as strong as mine, I know that the bonding we’ve experienced through the written word is something we will all treasure forever. Nothing can compete with that.