Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer 2011, Part Three--The Classics

Bedtime is pretty no-nonsense around here--prayers, teeth, a story and a song, then kisses and bed.

I used to be so much better about bedtime with my big kids.  I would stay and chat, tickle backs, ask about the day.  When that disappeared, I don't remember.

This summer, I started something new.  I began reading to my boys--really reading.  We opened with one of my favorites from childhood: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.B. Konigsburg.  I'm certain that this book sparked my first interest in art--that and our family Bible that had a full-color photo of Michelangelo's Pieta.  Every night my boys would ask to look up Michelangelo in the morning, what other art did he do.  And I may be one of the only mothers in America that doesn't need the internet for this request--I can pull a book off the shelf to find all of his work.  What a joy it was to share this love of art with my little boys.

Next up was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis.  It's been ages since I've pulled these off the shelf, but Mr. Lewis did not disappoint.  It helped a little that the boys have seen the movie a hundred times, but his way with words even captivated the rest of my family as we drove across Nevada.  We read the last page tonight, and Hyrum excitedly exclaimed at its conclusion, "Tomorrow's Prince Caspian!"

I can still feel the wet, tender kiss he planted on my cheek.  I can still hear his "Thanks, Mom" echoing in my ear.

I can't believe it took me this long to discover what a treasure this time can be.

Thanks, Summer 2011.


  1. Jen, loving this series. . .and I too have lost the art of reading to my littles somewhere along the way. Thanks for the motivation!

  2. I have loved reading time with my kids. We only just stopped reading "chapter books" in the last year or so...and it makes me sad. Not being a "story book" reader myself, it has been so much fun reading a variety of books with my kids that I otherwise would never have read.

    Some books, like Holes we read before seeing the movie...then we had a "Holes" party where we ate only foods with holes (donuts, Swiss cheese, olives, etc.) while watching the movie with friends.

    We especially loved "Skipping Christmas" by John Grisham...a fun Christmas time book.

  3. They will never forget the reading hours and neither will you. We loved reading Where the Red Fern Grows, Little Britches and The Yearling too.

  4. We read together all through childhood, and when my now-thirty year old, father-of-two was a young teen, our little secret was that every night I'd come in and read aloud from All Creatures Great and Small. Sometimes it would be just before I went to bed myself as he'd stay up later. I am so very happy to see the big place storytime has in the bed time ritual for his boys.

  5. GARRRGH! I used to do so much better reading stories to the kids as well. I feel like I'm always running and barely keeping up with everything. How *do* you do it w/more kids who are older and busier? Bigger blog? More followers/friends to follow up with? etc, etc, etc?

  6. Oh thanks for the great reminder! I used to be a bedtime reader and i'm sure these boys would love a reading mom, too :) It was so good to see you on Sunday!

  7. My husband reads classics to the kids at night--which makes me both grateful for the diversion and jealous of the time.

    I love your idea of the candle in the kitchen with the lights low. I'm planning on stealing that one.

  8. We always used to read at bedtime, too, and all of our kids are enthusiastic readers.

    Nature or nurture? I don't know. Maybe reading is in our genes, but the night reads were time well spent, either way.


  9. Please tell me you've read "The Last of the really great Whangdoodles." PLEASE! It is by far one of the best childrens books EVER! It's a classic in our house, one I'll remember forever for my Mom reading it to us. It's along the lines of those other books. Just fun, cute, fantasy. Oh, and it's written by Julie Andrews. Better yet.

  10. That is so awesome!
    I loved reading to my kids.

    I agree with the bedtime routine. No nonsense. I needed my quiet time too.

  11. I LOVED reading time with my kids! You just brought back such a good memory!

  12. nightime snuggly reading is the best!
    great books to choose too
    love these summer posts:)
    have a happy day

  13. While I don't cherish bedtime routine as much as you do, ours seems to be total chaos, I do enjoy storytime. Unfortunately, storytime, is only with my youngest girl now, but it's still awesome. We have been reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books by Betty McDonald. Do you know those books? We just get a kick out of them.
    My fourth grade teacher used to read them to our class. I LOVED those stories. I might have LOVED my fourth grade teacher too.

  14. Sounds like our bedtime, but ive been dreaming of reading aloud novels to my kids since I taught 3rd grade. Can't wait until they are a few years older!!:)