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Monday, June 29, 2015

Read To Us, Mommy.

Lessons Learned

Read To Us, Mommy.


Three little boys.  Three busy, inquisitive, active, always-cooking-up-something-very-exciting boys. It was summer and there was endless playing to do and countless adventures to be had. Experiments, inventions, and explorations  all regularly occurred as a direct result of treasures unearthed at garage sales, on winding bike paths, in the garden, the sandbox, the kitchen, and jumping from the pages of books.  Free, imaginative, creative, unstructured play ruled our days, recharged our hearts, and engaged the most important kinds of thinking.  Running, flying, launching, constructing, splashing, connecting, shoveling, climbing, swinging, shrieking, catapulting, and every other conceivable action verb propelled us through delightful escapades. And when exhaustion from an overabundance of enacted verbs overtook us, rest in the form of this consistent  request always followed; read to us, Mommy.  Together, we left our overheating flip-flops at the door and snuggled on the couch with a big stack of books. One very rainy June we even pitched a tent on the porch and read our daily pile of books in there.  Ten books per boy each week from the library as well as shelves full of gift books, garage sale books, homemade books, and old family books kept our literary repertoire full and fresh. For hours we’d play. For hours we’d read. Hours upon hours upon hours upon hours.  We stretched out attention spans and grew our imaginations as we listened to story after story and chapter after chapter.  From Fox in Socks to Stone Fox,   and everything in between, we laughed, we cried, and we adventured.  When we were too tired to run one more obstacle course, or to chase one more catapulted and floating parachuter, or to climb one more time to the top of the swing set, we were not too tired to be read to. Precious, beautiful, important time, reading together.  Priceless treasure. And now my boys are grown.  We all still love to lose ourselves in the pages of a great book.  What are you doing this summer in between activities and action verbs? With all my heart, I hope that you are gathering a stack of books and convening with your kids on the couch or in a porch tent to read together, whereby investing in priceless treasure. Read to us, Mommy, is a powerful, precious thing to hear.