We read to our kids every night before bed. Every night, no exceptions. We have never missed a night. I started reading books before bed to Maddie when she was 6 months old, so for her this has meant over 1,500 nights of bedtime stories. For Katie, this has already meant over 500 bedtime stories.
When we are tired, we read. When we are sick, we read. When it’s way past our bedtime, we read. When we are on vacation, we read. When there is a babysitter, they read. When we have other things on our mind, we read.
It is the one rule I can say we have never wavered on. We read.
Some of our best conversations have been over books. Maddie has come to love the writing of Mo Willems and Kevin Henkes. I know she’ll never forget Corduroy being alone in that huge department store, even though she seems to have outgrown the book. Through books, our inquisitive Maddie has discovered the exclamation point, the speech bubble, and the small, black, tornado-like scribble above a character’s head that means he is angry. Recently, Katie has discovered the delightful adventure of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and I know that soon she, too, will fall in love with Corduroy and his missing button.
Even when I’m yawning through the book, it’s my favorite part of the day. Even when Maddie picks the ever-lovin’ princess adventure book again, and I try to skip parts but she notices every time, it’s my favorite part of the day. Even when Katie will only let Daddy read the book and I get to listen to their giggles on the other side of the wall, it’s my favorite part of the day.
Every night. We read.