At the end of a day–good, bad or somewhere in between—I drink from a spring I know is far from eternal.

My youngest and I read. Usually, one of us aloud to the other.

Oh, and yes, we fight over which book to choose. We take turns now, a twist that has come into the picture since he was 10 and really began developing his own interests.

We have traveled to imaginary lands with Peter and the Starcatchers. Braved the tough bits of a small Southern town with Scout Finch. Witnessed Harry Potter and friends grow up.

And now that my bookworm is 11, a tiny fear grows in the recesses of my mind. His older brother read with me until about age 12. It tapered off, starting at age 11 or so, until our nighttime ritual faded away. I didn’t push the issue; I would just ask each night if he wanted to read with me. Eventually, in gentle fashion, the answer became “no” 100 percent of the time.

The same will happen with my youngest, I’m sure. I’m trying to treasure this last year or so together.

When the recent horrors in France occurred, we read. After yesterday’s latest U.S. mass shooting, we read.

On days he comes home jubilant from school, we read. On days I score a homerun in some way, shape or form, we read.

We also talk. Sometimes not. Snuggle with the dog.

It is a constant, even though a constant that happens less often than it used to occur.

Boy reading bedtime story
Our constant

He likes to know I am there, solid, sharing his love of the written word on a page. We read with accents, crazy expression, emotion. We escape from our day, any pressures, the rest of the world.

It is a nightly touchpoint for us. Even the dog knows it’s time to hunker down when the book is opened. It is a blessing I am loathe to let go.

When this touchpoint goes, so does a bit of his childhood.

But it’s not gone yet. And so I hold on, soaking in every precious second.


30 Comments Add yours

  1. He will keep reading, that is the probably the best thing you could have taught him.
    He has a great mom, one day he may also buy you books and things to read.

    I really love all your posts about your children 🙂

  2. shunpwrites says:

    I echo your sentiments, I think back and fight the urge to be mournful about when I realized that I wasn’t the center of my son’s Universe. However, I do take comfort in seeing him apply the lessons gleened from our rituals in his journey.

  3. heyjude6119 says:

    I loved reading to my kids. I hope he doesn’t quit too soon!

  4. RuthsArc says:

    Beautiful words. As you value this time so much I’m sure you will find new touch points as they grow older.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m sure we will, Ruth. Something about having him all to myself for a few minutes to end our days just feels irreplaceable. But time marches on, eh?

  5. I so loved this. I want to do this with my kids some day… When I have kids 🙂 Such a beautiful bonding time.

    1. candidkay says:

      You will love it! Something to look forward to and then treasure . . .

  6. Roy McCarthy says:

    If I had my time again I’d read more to my kids. The love of literature is a precious thing and one that costs little but time.

    1. candidkay says:

      I agree, Roy! And if you can instill that love young, it usually sticks with them.

  7. This brought back memories of happy times with my children at the best time of the day.

    1. candidkay says:

      Exactly what I tell my son–that it’s my favorite part of the day:).

  8. drakejamie says:

    As a mom, I’m doing the same thing each night and always have that little voice in the back of my head reminding me that our reading adventures may be numbered, so I need to enjoy every moment no matter how tired I may be. Every minute is a gift. Enjoy!!

    1. candidkay says:

      It’s nice to know there is an army of us doing this around the world each night. It’s a game changer, albeit a quiet one.

  9. cristi says:

    I miss those days…oh, what beautiful memories! 🙂 You are so smart to treasure them as they dwindle!

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m resisting the dwindling:). But I know it’s begun. . .

  10. Tom Schultz says:

    Very nicely written to communicate your feelings.

  11. I love how reading about your treasures and special moments makes me appreciate my own. Keep holding on when you can, drawing closer together when you need to and inspiring in so many ways.

    1. candidkay says:

      I love that so many of us have these moments. They help make the world go round:).

  12. srbottch says:

    A beautiful post, more than you might know because they’re still so young. My wife and I read to our son and daughter every night from 6 months old to about the same age as yours. They were too smart and fast for our slow reading. My wife also had cookies and milk and a listening ear every day they came home from school. One day, the older one, as a post college young man, said he learned all his good habits from us. Our daughter has written those same sentiments. To hear or read that is so very rewarding. You’ll see, one day it’ll happen. And you can say to yourself, ‘that old man blogger said this would happen’… You’re doing a great job so give yourself a pat on your back.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! I can’t say I can beat the milk and cookies every day but when my son does take my homemade chocolate chip cookies to school, he does get offered a lot to trade them (or so he says):).

  13. What a wonderful time to connect Kay. It is precious. I am sure you will find other connections with him as he matures. Nothing is ever lost, it just changes.

    1. candidkay says:

      So true. It’s just keeping up with the changing bit as a mama that can be tough sometimes:).

  14. Judy says:

    What a precious tradition.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Judy:). It sure is to me! And I think to him also . . . hoping he is banking some good memories.

  15. marlene frankel says:

    My two oldest grandchildren are 13 (almost 14) and 18. Despite the fact that I was a librarian they are not readers. Now I also have a 9 year old (almost 10) who has read since he was a year old. He now reads at the college level. My two youngest are 4 and 2 weeks old. Still time to try and hope for new readers. Love your nightly routine. Maybe the dog will continue to listen!

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, you have a couple of fresh recruits! I love that:). And so many titles yet to pull out, I’m sure . . .

    2. srbottch says:

      By the way, the dogs always will listen. And they don’t judge us…

  16. I love this. Bedtime with my kids is so precious; we too read together each night. I can also relate to the longing, the wish, that these special moments might carry on forever. And I know that they will – they’ll just look different.

    1. candidkay says:

      I love that last line about them just looking different. You’re so right. That’s the part I need to try hard to accept.

      1. Thanks. 🙂 Change is the only constant, right!? But it hurts a mother’s heart sometimes.

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