Reading before bedtime is a ritual at our house. I love watching the kids’ faces when they are being read to. Savanna follows along intently, and Joshua often gets excited based on anticipation of a fun part he knows is coming up. Because I love to read, it gives me such joy to see my kids love books.
I remember not getting very much sleep when Joshua was born, partly because I just don’t want to put him down even if he has fallen asleep in my arms. I spend a lot of hours just staring at his face. I was so afraid that in the blink of an eye he’ll be off to college.
Now, I have the same problem with Savanna. Especially after Joshua goes to sleep, that’s when I feel like I finally have time to take her all in without interruptions and demands. I can’t get enough of looking at my little girl, and at the same time hate the thought that one day soon enough she’ll be all grown up.
OMG, I am POSSESSIVE!
The point is, these little beings grow so damn fast. I remember getting so excited when Joshua showed an interest in books. Now he not only bring books to us to request reading time, he quickly memorizes parts of books or rhymes. I love reading to him, or watching him absorb what is being read to him.
I love reading books. Books transport you to a different space and location with mere words on paper. It’s magical! Books teach you, challenge you, shape you, and influence you.
When I was in my early 20’s, between working full time and studying for the CGA, I had little time left to read. But once I finished the CGA program, I read books all the time. I read non-fiction books about mountaineering, trekking, traveling, culture, and photography, and fictions of mostly about different cultures (like the Thousand Splendid Suns). I remember one year I read over 24 books.
A big part of my reading addiction is inherited from my dad. My dad used to disappear in the evenings or weekends, and return with a new stack of books he found at the bookstore. His books would be stacked on his night stand, in the bathroom, and in all the nooks and crannies at home. He mostly read books on economics, finances, marketing because they related to his job. If I ever requested for a toy, sometimes that’s negotiable. But if I ever wanted a book, he never hesitated to buy it for me.
I found that I have turned into my dad when it comes to books and kids–every couple of weeks I would buy new books for Joshua. I’ve somehow been brainwashed that buying books for my kid is not a debatable expense. Joshua loves it when I bring new books home for him. He would request for the new books to be read repeatedly for days.
Since Joshua was 6 or 7 months old, his bedtime routine included books. When we first started, he would just stare at the pages. I think he liked the colors and patterns. He would actually patiently sit through 5 or 6 kids books each night. One day I tested it out, and he sat through 14 books before he lost interest and crawled away. When he got a little older, he would flip through books on his own, albeit sometimes holding the books upside down. Eventually he starts to recognize characters in the books. He likes to point to the character we’re reading about. Now, often he wants to sit on his own and turn the pages without us in his way. He would point to the pictures of things he recognizes, name them, and either repeat the story we’ve read to him before or make up his own storyline.
Now he uses story time as a bit of a bedtime evasion strategy. Every time I say “this is the last book”, he always wants more after that. But honestly, I don’t care. In fact, I am glad. What more could a book lover ask for than a son who likes to stay up and read?