When Julie and Johnny were babies, I used to love cuddling them in my lap and reading them books. I could have stayed there for hours, but of course they always got squirmy or hungry or tired. As toddlers, I could usually only hold their attention for one short book until they wiggled away to play with something more interesting. If I had it my way, I would just snuggle them forever reading the day away. Much more entertaining to me than playing Barbies or trains. I could never turn down a request to read.
As semi-big kids Julie and Johnny love story time. Maybe I brainwashed them, but they still love sitting with Scott or me and listening to book after book after book. And I still love it.
I would do it forever, though I know it won't last.
I'm not sure when I first started to notice Julie sneaking off by herself to read chapter books. I think it probably started with bedtime. We usually take turns reading chapter books, but sometimes I was too tired to read anymore, and she'd ask if she could stay up a while and read by herself. "Of course!" I'd say. This mom will never ever discourage reading any time of day.
Then, there was a night when it all changed. "That's OK Mommy. I just want to read by myself tonight."
A tiny part of me was completely exhausted and was kind of relieved I didn't have to read a book for 30 minutes. Another part of me was so thankful that she loved reading. Most of me, however, felt lost.
Obviously, I knew it was coming. When I was her age, I spent most of my days reading books. I couldn't get enough. I was completely thrilled that she loved to read. It's just that I'm not ready to give up that time. I loved sharing in the story and asking her questions and seeing whether she could guess the ending, or whether she really understood what was going on.
So, I've started to barge my way into story time by asking if I can listen to her chapter book. Or sometimes I'll entice Julie with an interesting book to join in nightly story times with Johnny and me.
It's working so far, and occasionally she'll still bring me a book and say "Mommy, read this to me."