Thursday

Piles of Books

Each night I try to tidy up the play room.  It's a big room. It has 2 toy shelves, a book shelf, a spacious window seat, a stuffed animal corner, an 8x4 ft chalkboard, two couches, an entertainment console, a cardboard castle, and lots of room left to run around and play.  If Simon is being cooperative, we clean up what is left over from the day's adventures in play.

Each night, without fail, I have a large mass of books to put away.  Tonight there were upwards of 50 hanging out in front of the bookshelf alone.  Some had been read today and some were tossed aside in the pursuit of their neighbors.  Those were just the books in front of the bookcase.  Not the ones on the couches or on in front of the fire place.  Nor were they the ones in the bedrooms or on the living room rug, squashed into the plush pile. 

As I gathered these mini literary gems I was reminded how much I love reading.  As I separated the library books from our own and the chapter books from the board books I was reminded why we have SO MANY children's books.  I was reminded why my children receive books every gift giving holiday ... from Mom and Dad, from Nana and Goggy and Grandma. For Easter and birthdays, Valentine's day and Christmas.  Books and books and books.  It's because we LOVE to READ!

I feel strongly about reading.  I tend to become overwhelmed thinking about it, thinking about how grateful I am that I can read and how sorrowful I feel for those who cannot.  The written word is powerful.  It builds people! - builds thoughts, and beliefs.  The ability to read can change a dreary world and a plain existence into one rich with experience, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, morals, and understanding.

I want my children to love reading.  I want them to read for pleasure often but also to learn.  I want them to want to fill their heads full of knowledge they can keep forever and ever.  Scriptures, biographies, worthy fiction, geography, history, classic literature...

So the only thing we do to help them on that path is to surround them with books.  We bring them to the library and read then we bring those books home and read them ten more times.  We have anthologies of stories from all over the world.  We have greatly illustrated stories with a word or two on each page, helping them to tell us the stories.  Mother Goose and Dr. Seuss, Brown Bear and a Princess with long hair.  We have books with famous and favorite characters and books about characters we'd never heard of before.  Just a lot of books and a lot of reading.  And guess what?  When we visit our family, we read books together.  Grandma reads books, Aunts and Uncles read with us.  We listen to books on tape.  We take them on car trips.  Am I painting this picture well enough?

We also love to get out in the back yard grass and have foot races, partners and singles (I love that my husband calls them "foot races").  We love to ride bikes and go on hikes, play in the sprinklers, play dress up, color and paint, bake and watch movies.  But we really love to read.

So I feel like I'm doing my best to help my kids love reading just by reading with them.  It means a lot to me.  And I hope it sticks.  Just like with anything good you try to accomplish as a parent, you seal it with a prayer and a kiss and you just hope it sticks!

1 comment:

Amy said...

I glad we're not the only ones with piles of books on the floor at the end of the day. :)