Sunday, November 14, 2010

Goodnight Moon

Tonight, after I nursed Kaden and tried to put him down, he started to cry.  He was not interested in sleep.  I swaddled him up, cuddled Mr. Swaddle Bug on my lap and we read this together:

He stopped crying and stared at the pictures while I read him one of the simplest stories ever written.

Then I sang him a lullaby and rocked him to sleep (because I do naughty things like that instead of letting him "learn to self soothe" in his crib).

My mom read this book to me, and Chad's mom read this book to him.

Kaden loves to be read to, and I think that is awesome.  Some of our other favorites at three months old are If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Corduroy, Hop on Pop, Guess How Much I Love You?, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (OK, so I might have lied about that last one).

On Friday, I had a conversation with one of my student's parents.  He failed my class last nine weeks, and his father is obviously concerned about his grade.  This is how my favorite line in the conversation went:

"Well, he hates to read.  I hate to read, and his mother hates to read.  There ain't nothin' we can do about that."

It's times like this that I am thankful I'm having a conversation over the telephone and not in real life.  This way, I can make whatever facial expressions I want and no one is the wiser.  Luckily, since it was only day two in my return to public education, and I have yet to reach the state of exhaustion that will likely accompany the end of the semester, I was able to refrain from making the following comments I wanted to make:

"That is an extremely sad and uneducated comment."

"Perhaps your child's lack of interest in my subject area should warrant his removal from an HONORS level course."

"Perhaps we can do something about his laziness, even if you seem to lack the skill to spark his interest in reading."

I do not know if Kaden will be a reader when he grows up.  I certainly hope so, but I also know I can't choose what my child will love.  I'm not going to deceive myself into thinking that because he will snuggle with me and enjoy a picture book now he'll be a bookworm when he's older.  Having said that, my mom certainly shaped me into the reader I am today.

I am thankful for a mom who held me in her arms while she read me Goodnight Moon.  And I'm glad it didn't stop there.  I am thankful for a mom who giggled with me while we read all of the Ramona Quimby books together, and all of the other chapter books she snuggled with me through at bedtime.  Most of all, I'm thankful that she talked to me about what I read while I was in high school.  I'm thankful she littered our house with books and that I saw her reading them.  Books on the night stand.  Books in the bathroom.  Books on the kitchen counter.  Always books.  It's still that way.  One of my favorite parts about going home is seeing what new books are hiding in various parts of my parents' house--there's always something to read and talk about. 

Mom, I am so glad you're a reader.

And I'm so glad that I get to read to my little boy.


  1. Your boy is so lucky to have a Mama who will snuggle him and read to him. You should have Chad take a picture of you reading, it is such a precious moment!

  2. I loved this post. I, too, have a great desire to develop a habit of reading in our family. Julie Beck said in their family they had "breakfast with books" on Saturdays in which everyone was welcome to bring their book to the breakfast table. It's difficult for me to sit down and read- especially when I know there are other things that need to be done. I too often resort to audiobooks while I'm doing the dishes, painting a wall, etc. But I'm determined to create an atmosphere where my children feel free to read when they want- any ideas?

  3. i can just imagine the rage from that comment!

    one of our favorite books is "I Love You Through and Through" which i believe you gave me when i was pregnant with sophie!

  4. Oh this post is near and dear to my heart, since I love this book!! As you mentioned, I read it many, many times to Chad and my other children as they were growing up. A great bedtime book...simple but so sweet. So glad you are Kaden's mom!

    Love you!

  5. You forgot to mention that his Dad likes to read as well. I try and finish a book a week, but it usually turns out to be a book every other week. I read Kaden a story the other night and he seemed enthralled by it. I hope this continues throughout his life.

  6. I've always been mystified by the people who are shocked when they find out I read for fun. I, too, attribute my love of reading to my mom--she and my dad read to us when we were kids, and during the summer we were expected to read for at least an hour a day. My mom's been in a book club for as long as I can remember, and we're always recommending good books to each other.

    Of course, everyone is different and there's no telling if Kaden will end up being a bibliophile, but you're definitely laying a good foundation and I have a feeling that the enjoyment of reading that you and Chad have will rub off on him!

  7. I'm so glad you're a reader too! I loved reading to you then, I love sharing books with you now and I love reading to Kaden! I can't imagine a world without reading and good books...I'm so glad you're giving Kaden that gift. You are an awesome Mother!

  8. I held Alice every stinking minute of the first 4 months of her life. She fell asleep in my arms, slept in my arms, and played in my arms. I knew I would be going back to work, and I wouldn't get to be around very much. And you know what? She is the best go-to-bed-er. She says goodbye when it's time for bed and climbs in the crib herself. The only thing that holding her and cuddling her all the time did is make her know she is loved.

    Just wait until you your little tyke chattering away in his room, so you peek in. You find him surrounded with books, pointing to pictures and counting to himself. Those are my favorite days with Alice.

  9. I can't wait to have kids to read to too! :) English teachers... jk

  10. What a beautiful post! I'm sure you know this quote, but this post reminded me of it:
    "You may have tangible wealth untold;caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I, you can never be -- I had a mother who read to me." - Strickland W. Gillilan. So so so so true. Also side note -- I see that you are reading Water for Elephants. How far into it are you? I don't know how easily offended you are but there are some pretty nasty scenes. I really loved the main character and the story, I just wish someone had edited it with a sharpie for me. Tip: if you get to any parts with the stripper character, just skip the rest of the chapter! Blech. SUCH intersting subject matter though, and a great story...just thought I'd warn you. Could this comment get any longer? The answer is yes but for your sake I'll stop


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