One of my favorite memories with my mother was that she would read to us everyday. We would snuggle up in her bed with a stack of books and she would read to me until I fell asleep. It didn't matter how many times we had read those books before, or that I had them memorized, it was always exciting to hear them again. She had a way of bringing the stories to life.
When I had children of my own, this was the first tradition that I couldn't wait to carry on. All of my childhood books had been lost in a fire, but I have found a few of my favorites again at yard sales and in thrift stores. It is amazing to me when I flip through these old books that the pictures can instantly take me back and I still have them memorized, though it's been over 25 years since my mother read to me.
The power of a storybook can calm an energetic toddler and ignite imaginations.
I thought that when my older children learned to read for themselves, that they wouldn't want to curl up on the couch with me for a story. But they love it more than ever and it has opened up a whole new world of stories.
We have been reading the Little House series, which I never read as a child, and we are discovering the joys of the simple prairie life together. I love that when I close the book they beg, "Just one more chapter, please?!"
When we read to our children we are giving them a beautiful gift. We are making memories and instilling a love for literature that will last a lifetime. We are also giving a gift to ourselves. We slow down and enjoy our children and bring life back to where it should be.