When my first daughter was born, I threw in the towel (and the paycheck) and became a stay-at-home mama. In my sleep-deprived stupor, I came to a point where I thought, “Okay, what do I do all day with this little human being?” Figuring I probably wouldn’t have the time to read another novel for, oh eighteen years, I changed my Amazon purchases to board books and anything that had big beautiful pictures of other babies.
Oh, when that beautiful box arrived with that minimalistic crooked smile, I could have squealed with delight. In it was a bounty from the literary heavens! I unpacked Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, How a Baby Grows by Nola Buck and the classic Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. From that day, I would plop myself down between dish washing and laundry folding and give my daughter undivided reading time. I’d lay beside her and read these books over and over–and over. At two-months old, she’d gurgle with excitement when she saw me bringing what would eventually be dubbed the Book Basket.
As I added daughters #2, 3 and 4 to our home, I also amassed a crazy amount of books. My girls adored our reading time almost as much as I did. I say this because, if you have kids, which you probably do if you’re reading this blog, you know that having four children under the age of six is akin to the ancient method of torture called “quartering”. Someone pulling at ever direction at the same time! The Book Basket meant quiet time without whining, fighting, or needing anything. All eyes engaged and minds whisked away to new and wonderful places. Reading time has been and is still when I am being the best Mommy I can be.
When my son came along, people joked that the reading would go by the wayside with him. “Boys don’t usually like to read,” was a mantra I heard from many moms of boys. What?!? I did exactly as I did with the girls. At three years of age, my Prince Charming loves his books just as much as any Hot Wheel car or Thomas the Tank Engine train.
Eleven years of reading, six overloaded bookshelves, and five voracious book worms later–I continue to cherish every moment I spend with a book to share with my kids!