Monday, May 16, 2011

31 Days Closer to Your Kids: Read Together

Well hello there! Did you think I had forgotten about my 31 Day promise? I did not. But apparently Blogger forgot about their ability-to-blog promise because Blogger took itself down for two days last week. And then I had to go out of town for the weekend. So, although my posts were finished and ready to go up, I could not follow through because of Blogger. *ahem*

But, hey, let's put that behind us, shall we? And let's carry on. Move ahead. Get going. I'll just pick up where I left off, and I may or may not go a couple days into June. Or maybe this will be a "28 Days" series. Let's just see what happens, shall we?

Shelly Final

The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When I started thinking about 31 ways to get closer to your kids, reading together was obviously at the top of my list. I thought back fondly to those moments of snuggling on the couch with my girls in the late afternoons, just before dinnertime, reading through children’s book after children’s book while fluffing their hair and asking, “Another one, dears?”

Except it was the bewitching hour. And there was no hair fluffing involved.

You know, that hour-before-dinner-when-everyone-is-cranky-and-tired-and-hungry-and-bored-and-we-all-need-something-to-do-except-mom-needs-to-make-dinner-and-keep-the-kids-occupied-at-the-same-time? Yeah, that hour. Books seemed to be the best way to pass the time, so we read together, but not always happily.

Of course, there were more enjoyable reading hours in our home as well. Early mornings, still in our pajamas, cuddled underneath the down comforter on my bed. Those were good.

But the best time of all was just before bedtime, right after bath time, when my little girls smelled fresh and clean—just like heaven before a rain storm. Pajamas donned, hair still damp, slightly sleepy, the girls and I would grab a book and a spot on the floor and read. Eventually those damp heads would gravitate to my shoulder; I’d sniff the deliciousness of them, bewitching hour was forgotten, and all seemed right with the world for another day.

Over the years we’ve all grown to love books, especially children’s books. And most especially, The Chronicles of Narnia, which was a tradition between a dad and his daughters. B spent many a happy hour reading through these stories to the girls starting when they were very young.

Every year, rather than the traditional Christmas ornament, I give my daughters a children’s book for Christmas—either a book we enjoyed that year or a book that had something to do with what they had studied in school. Sometimes it was just a book having to do with where they were in their life at that time. Today we have a huge collection of children’s books on our shelf just waiting to be taken away someday and read to more little ones.

Something magical happens when we read with our kids. A connection takes place that we can’t explain. We form a bond that is unbreakable. And we create memories that will last forever.

As I was thinking about this post last week I happened to turn on the news one morning and I saw a story that illustrated my point perfectly. A young woman has just written a book called, “The Reading Promise.” It’s her story about growing up with her single dad who was looking for a way to connect with his daughter after her mother left the family. Her dad promised to read to her every day, and they continued this tradition throughout her life. They have logged over 3,000 hours of reading together, and the bond the two have is truly amazing.

Click here to watch their story. You’ll be amazed at what reading together can do for your relationship with your children.

So tell me, have you bonded over books? What are some of your favorite children's books?

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Remember to check out the other posts in the "31 Days Closer . . ." series:

Sandy at The Amazing Adventures of the Fitness Friday Girl - "31 Days Closer to Health, Wellness, and Bathing Suit Season"
Melanie at Bella~Mella - "31 Days Closer to a Cuter You"
Jen at Finding Heaven - "31 Days Closer to Hearing God's Voice"
Lisa at Glad Chatter - "31 Days Closer to the Life You Always Wanted"
Missy at It's Almost Naptime - "31 Days Closer to a New Home"



  1. Welcome back ~ I missed you.

    This post brings back many wonderful memories . . . hundreds of hours of memories. How we Childers love our books (until it is time to move and we have to carry them.)

    Don't forget the library, too. (I am on pain pills and had trouble spelling library . . . maybe I should get off the internet,eh?


  2. My mom often read to my brother and me, which is a big part of why I'm a book nerd to this day. She read Chronicles of Narnia, Hinds Feet on High Places, and so many more. Books make a big difference!

    (And I agree about Blogger's FAIL. Such a pain!)