I said those words—“Read to me,” a lot as a child. A vivid image rests in my mind of my mother sitting near me as I sprawled on the couch suffering from one of my many childhood illnesses . . .
She holds a book open in her well-know hands and looks at me with her soft hazel eyes. One hand smooths her checkered apron over her middle before she delves into the story. I wait in anticipation. The fragrance of delectable baked goods lingers in the background. The comforting sound of her even and cheery voice brings me to other times, places, and experiences.
Of course, my mother read to me when I was well too, but I vividly recall the cozy times when her words transported me from my sickbed.
I grew up with the love of reading and books. I remember the dusty, booky smell of the local library. The old stone building towered over me as a child, but in reality it stands as a modest size building now. The squeaky wooden floor boards announced my entry into the children’s section where row after row of adventures awaited me.
The library had a sale of used books every year, and one year we bought a book called, “The King the Mice and the Cheese.” It became one of my favorite picture books. I saved and read it to my children, and now I’ll read it to my grandson.
Both of my sons and my daughter-in-law to be gave me touching cards for Mother’s Day. Words mean so much to me, and the words they wrote will stay with me forever. One of the cards has an image of a mom and child reading on the front. It’s a picture of our lives because I made reading to my sons a daily priority when they were children.
An hour of reading before bedtime became one of the best part of our days as a little family. I instilled the love of reading in my sons. But reading meant more than the story. We valued the time together. A solid base for my children to grow and mature grew from that spot of togetherness. Now as men, they recognize and are thankful for the time we had.
Read together. Be together. Grow together. It’s how you do life.