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Simple Pleasures: Reading in Bed

There have been a lot of traditions I have tried to start with my family that have fizzled out over time.  One tradition that I am happy to say I have been ridiculously committed to, however, is the bedtime story with each of my children.

For those years when Ben was a solo child of mine, we read book after book at bedtime.  We let him persuade us into reading more and more of them.  We knew it was a stall tactic, but we didn't mind.  Those were precious moments, and we knew they wouldn't last forever.

When Abby came along, we limited bedtime to two stories each.  It was amazing, still, how much longer it took with just one more little child.

Just before Sarah was born, there was a short period of time when I was able to cheat and I would read one "boy" book and one "girl" book to both of them together, as we laid Abby - Mommy - Ben, side-by-side in Abby's double bed.

Then Ben started reading to himself, those big chapter books, and he didn't "need" me anymore.

And, really, I was okay with that because while he didn't need me to read to him, he was still reading.  And that's what we were trying to instill all along - a love of reading.

Besides it came just in time for me to start reading to baby sister, Sarah.  This girl is third in line of three kids who love to read.  She'll grab any one of the books we've amassed over three children, and she will bring throw books to at anyone who might remotely look like they're able to read and sit in their lap before they know what hit them.

Following in the strong-willed steps of her older brother, I find her resisting sleep in favor of devouring a good book in her bed.  Even if I don't actually witness her doing this, the evidence is clear -


She's got no less than a dozen books in her bed on any given day.  She rotates them out from a giant stack she has shoved underneath her bed.  (Apparently the bookshelf is just too far away.)

I love this.

I should be upset that she's staying up late and straining her eyes, but the truth is, it's in the genes.  I did this when I was a wee one.  I kept 3 or 4 novels under my pillow and read by the dim light of my nightlight so that I wouldn't get caught by my mom for staying up past bedtime. 

This is about as rebellious as goody-two-shoes get.

I still love reading at bedtime.  It seems to be the only remedy for insomnia I've found guaranteed to work. 

Today's simple pleasure is knowing that all of these children of mine love to read - at bedtime or not.  Though, the fact that it happens at bedtime reminds me of my childhood when I looked forward that precious time with a good book.
TV.  If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they'll have with twenty-six.  Open your child's imagination.  Open a book.  ~Author Unknown 
Sharing this at Dayle's Simple Pleasures Party today - better late than never!

10 comments:

T's Daily Treasures said...

I read to my kids all the time when they were little and now that they are nearly 13 and 16, neither of them wants to read anymore. :/ Hard to find good books in this country since they censor everything. Hope you are having a good day. Tammy

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Boy, are we on the same page!! My boys are mostly on their own now (there are 4 of them), but this reminds me of our sweet reading times. And now, years later -- these boys are still readers. I love it!

the⋆silver⋆of⋆His⋆fining said...

Jennie, What an awesome post! Absolutely...reading is essential, the younger the better. Love the stack under the bed idea. I'll have to try it! (My kids are long gone.) Enjoy your read tonight! Joyce

Debbie said...

This is the perfect simple pleasure, Jennie. Spoken from one book loving/book reading mom to another.

Just think how much fun you'll have with the new Shep.

Amber - Binkertation said...

That's great - when my little girl asks for "one more story" that's one thing I can't resist - the love of reading is so important and I, too, am lost without at least a little bedtime reading!!

Kay K said...

Great Simple Pleasuare

Dayle said...

Jennie, it's so good to see you back here, and I love this simple pleasure. It was one of my favorite things to do with my daughter. We read in bed together every night until she was almost a teenager. Priceless times. Enjoy!

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Reading is a wonderful pleasure, something you can do nearly anywhere, including bed. I enjoy reading to our youngest still and my eldest reads to some of the others at bedtime.

Anglers Rest said...

A lovely photo. I am an avid reader too, and remember being allowed to choose a book a week with Mum and having special time with my Grandmother who had so much patience as she read and re-read various favourites. Very special times and thanks for sharing your simple pleasure as it reminded me of some happy childhood moments.

Sharon said...

Avid reader that I am, I can think of few simple pleasures that are better than the reading of a book (or five) in bed!

Books have been my friends for years (and years and years) - they have comforted me when I was lonely, transported me to adventures when I was bored, and expanded my horizons and increased my vocabulary. And yes, they have helped me on those insomnia nights...

LOVE that you and your kids love to read - it's a gift that you've passed on, and it will be a great pleasure the rest of their lives.

GOD (who happened to write a pretty good Book Himself!) BLESS!

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