When I found out I was going to become a mother I began to look forward to a lot of different things. One of those was the chance to share the joy of reading with my children. A good book has always been a sanctuary for me. I could get lost in a matter of moments when I opened a good tale. Just a few words into a page and the world as I know it dissolves into oblivion.
When Logan arrived we began our daily ritual. We shared a book in the hospital. I know there are nights here or there that he's gone to bed without a single story between us, but it's rare. At first it was our habit but now it's his joy. He loves his books almost as much as he loves the time spent together when we read them.
He was always a patient 'reader.' He moved quickly from the board book variety into short picture books. From there the pages grew more wordy and less illustrated. He'll occasionally let it slip that he can read what's written before him, but mostly he likes to lay against us as we read to him.
Megan has always been more physical and less prone to sitting still - and yet except for a brief spell where she'd rather throw books than read them - she's exhibited a camaraderie with our library of children's books. She's rougher on them than her brother ever was and so for now, her exposure remains the hard cardboard variety. Still, she gathers up a stack of her favorites, commands you to sit and then backs herself up until she can flop onto your lap. We read to her when she's not busy rattling off what she's memorized.
This Christmas we gave Logan a collection of the original Thomas the Tank Engine stories. They are bound together in one big book that is very heavy on the text and very light on the pictures. Between Bruce and I, we've read from over 200 pages from that book to Logan since Christmas. He seems to enjoy it more than he's enjoyed anything else before it.
Until, that is, his grandparents went away for a long weekend and came back with presents. We have a rather sizable collection of children's books. I have a weakness for them. What can I say? My parents decided to buy each of them a 'bigger kid' book to be put away for when they were ready for them. Megan got a collection of stories about Raggedy Ann and Andy and Logan got a set of books from the Magic Tree House (By Mary Pope Osborne) collection.
These aren't now books. At least they weren't intended to be. The Magic Tree House is a series (a big series) of "chapter" books intended for the younger grade school set between the ages of 5 and 8. Logan, however, saw the pack of four books and became determined to read them.
I gave in. I read him the first book - the whole book - at bed time that night.
He's in love.
He got his gift of these books on Monday night. We've read all four books already and tonight, while at my parents for his monthly sleepover party, he'll get the next 4 books. At first I wondered if he was really picking up on the story or just day dreaming while we read "at" him. Truth is, he's retained more of the story than I have. Daddy read him book #4. Logan gave me a full report on it in the morning. I know so many details, I might as well have read it myself.
And now the fun begins. I have saved some of my favorite childhood books. I've dreamed about the day I could give my child a Little House on the Prairie book or Alice in Wonderland. I've waited patiently to share the Jungle Book and Wind in the Willows. I don't think it's all that far off at all now.
It's like sitting a top a giant treasure chest and hearing the search crew around the bend from you. You're dying to share what's inside and you're giddy with anticipation. Besides, it gives me an excuse to take time out to read these beloved tales again. I can't wait!