Our magic time...
Tonight my 7 year old walked up to the couch with his book tucked under his arms and a solem little look on his face. "I'm sad tonight mommy". I knew why. Tonight we would be reading the last chapter (Finally) of the Magical Faraway Tree. A book by Enid Blyton which I used to absolutely adore as a little girl and reading it to my kids was an absolute must.
Last year I managed to find not only the Magical Faraway Tree, but a 3 in 1 collection. A whole 675 pages thick! (With very few illustrations) For a little boy and a tired mommy that is a lot! It took us months and many "aren't you going to read to me tonight" evenings but tonight cuddled up on the couch we read the last chapter.
As I closed our book for the very last time a little sob escaped the little body (usually very brave) snuggling silently up to me on the couch. Understanding immediately I felt a knob forming in my throat, he like myself 20 years ago had fallen in love with the Faraway tree and all the peculiar characters living in it. He had laughed at the Saucepan man's funny songs and Dame Washalot and the Angry Pixie upsetting new visitors to the tree. He had got excited when he knew the next chapter was about a strange land passing by and he had drooled over the Land of Treats and the Land of Birthdays. He laughed when Connie ate Toffee shocks for the first time and loved hearing about Moonface and Silky's plans for their next adventures. My little boy, had used his imagination. It wasn't just about the extra time that we got to share together at night, and it wasn't about fancy pictures or super hero's. He lay quietly every night (well most night's) and listened and began to live the adventure with the characters in the book.
It get's drummed into us as mom's how important it is for our children to read and religiously we listen and encourage our little people to spend a little time reading every day. So we do our homework and we read. We tuck our munchkins into bed and choose (some nights looking for the shortest or biggest text) a book that we can quickly get through before turning of the light and finally getting that peaceful "me time" we have waited for all day. BUT it was not until tonight when my little lost his heart to a book that I had loved so much as a child that I completely understood.
Life is fast, it is scary and there is so much expected of our little ones. Grade 1 has been a busy, rushed and exciting year. He has grown up so much in the past few months, between the early mornings and grumpy "I don't want to eat this" suppers, we have had less and less time to just play. I did not realize that through this, this book has been his happy place. It has been his calm at the end of the day and it has filled his head with magic and dreams. In a fast world it has forced him to lie quietly and without aids like tv use his imagination. To just be a little boy.
Tonight this mommy learnt a lesson. I learnt that those nights, when I really had no energy but still had to read, were more than just moments for him to buy more time. They were moments that we shared and moments that he got to discover new places and explore new lands. Tonight I realized that yes reading is important, but it is so so much more than just an education. It is a tool to keep my little boy little in a world that forces him to be too big. So tomorrow we look for a new book and I have promised myself that no matter how long or bad the day has been, that every night, we will read.