I’ve started a new habit around here. In the afternoons, when I head to my bed to put the 2 year old and baby down for a nap, Julien (12) and Sadie (7) take turns coming into my bedroom for read-aloud sessions.
This accomplishes a few things: One, Ruby falls asleep easily because she doesn’t realize I’m trying to put her to sleep. Two, the time is put to productive use but I still get to rest some.
For Julien, I chose Swiss Family Robinson. My oldest has read it 7 times and when I asked him if it would be a good choice for his younger brother, he replied in earnest, “Yes, but it HAS to be unabridged. The abridged leaves too much good stuff out!”.
So far we’re enjoying it, it’s a lovely story of faith, courage and family life…although it is a little odd that we’re in chapter 4 and still don’t know the narrator’s wife’s name (we knew the boy’s names immediately), and she seems to be little more than a maid, with no opinions of her own. Ah, well. You can’t have everything.
Sadie is hearing The Trumpet of the Swan, which was a favorite of mine when I was about her age. (There’s just something special about E.B. White, no?)
Unlike Julien, Sadie insists on reading a portion aloud to me first. Yesterday listening to her was a bit surreal. She read a passage about the proud cob discovering that his son Louis had no voice. As vain as he tended to be, he handled the situation with tenderness. She read it so well, her cute still somewhat babyish voice putting feeling into the reading, emphasizing the right words and changing the voices depending on who was speaking.
A very warm feeling came over me. It felt like happiness, nostalgia and something else mixed together and poured all around my belly. All the hours I’ve spent reading to her suddenly paid off, and she was able to bring me happiness by reading to me.
Anyway, it was lovely.
P.S. If you have a reluctant reader who suddenly begins complaining that she can’t see well, take her to get an eye exam. She might need glasses like Sadie did.
By the way, if you’re a big Anne of Green Gables fan, or want your kids to become one, check this out: The Anne Stories: 11 Books, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne’s House of Dreams, Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside, Chronicles of Avonlea, Plus Audiobooks for just .99 on Amazon. Did you know that you do NOT have to own a Kindle to buy and read Kindle books? You can read them on your phone or computer!