I Keep Reading to Them

“Sit still.”

“Be quiet, please.”

“Hold on, don’t turn the page!”

“Listen to this part!”

“Look at those pictures!”

Reading books is exhausting sometimes. Switching voices, whispering, asking questions and being super dramatic to keep (or catch, again) their attention. I feel like I’ve just run a marathon. Reading with toddlers is anything but relaxing.

I keep reading to them.

The same books, a hundred times. We’ve got the pages memorized. So many books begging to be opened. Today we will find a new story to love. Tears fall, a book gets thrown and its back to “The Hungry Caterpillar” again.

I keep reading to them.

Surely, they aren’t paying attention as they run around the room instead of sitting quietly in my lap. Frustration builds within me as they yell, “Go back, I missed the picture! You skipped a page, Mama, read it right!” I want to throw the book down and pick up my own that has been collecting dust all week on the bedside table in my room. With a sigh, I instead flip back a page, reread the words and show off the pictures once more.

I keep reading to them.

One day they will be able to read for themselves. Grand chapter books, comics, fairytales and nonfiction about sharks. As they hesitantly sound out words, I see their confidence grow, their imaginations taking flight. My Mama heart leaps for joy and swells with pride but deep within myself, I feel a shift. They will embark on literary adventures of their very own, without me. This is what I’m teaching them to do, to be independent and need me a little less. How long will they want to snuggle up to Mama and hear the crazy voices and simple stories we’ve shared all those years?

I keep reading to them.

This is meant to be a reminder to myself why I keep returning to the little bookshelf, settling into the worn-down spot in the carpet. The time I have with them is limited, precious, and sacred. I will watch them and encourage them to grow independently, confidently and thrive in this big old world. And until they do, I will store up every memory of little fingers turning pages too soon, musical giggles at silly voices and warm snuggles as they pile into my lap for one more book before bed. They don’t know how magical this is, but I do.

I keep reading to them.

2 thoughts on “I Keep Reading to Them

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.