I stumbled across this image on Facebook the other morning. It made me smile.
Some of my fondest memories of being a child are connected to story time.
My mum read me a bedtime story every night till I was about nine years old. We would go to the library, pick some books, then enjoy them over the next few nights. We worked our way through all of Joan Drake’s Mr Grimpwinkle tales that way. We read story books sent over from the USA by family and enjoyed Bunny Blue’s search for his big pink satin bow many many times. Those stories and many more hold a special place in my heart. The last book she started to read to me at bedtime was Anne of Green Gables. In the middle of reading it, we moved house and somewhere along the line bedtime stories stopped. I had been deemed old enough to read by myself before falling asleep (something that happens every night to this day). We never finished Anne of Green Gables and to this day I have no idea how that story ends.
I remember my Wee Gran reading stories to me from my mum’s old childhood storybooks. These books were second/third hand, well-loved and well-read before my mum was even born but the stories in them are timeless. The books themselves have seen better days but are now around one hundred years old.
My aunt introduced me to a certain cat that sparked a lifelong love of Dr Seuss. Thirty years later, when I visited her with my own kids those books came back out, and they too were introduced to The Cat In The Hat.
When my kids were little, I read to them from the time they were a few weeks old. There were countless storybooks in their rooms. I read them some of the stories from my childhood; I let them discover favourites from their own childhood. We read all about Hairy MacLary from Donaldson’s Dairy and I can still recite most of Each Peach Pear Plum.
You never really know though if those story time memories have stuck with them or not.
As I was thinking about how to approach this blog, Girl Child (now almost 22 years old) was sitting on the couch beside the Christmas tree scrolling through her phone. I asked her if she remembered the story that I used to read to her and her brother around Christmas time about a house rammed to the rafters with visiting family and friends. A house so crowded on Christmas Eve that the baby was put to bed in the sink.
There was a delighted, “Yes! I remember that story!”
My heart swelled,
So, when you’re reading to your little or not so little ones, remember its more than just reading a story to them. You’re actually making memories that last a lifetime.
PS We still have that festive tale. The book is in a box up in my parent’s attic and is called Christmas on Exeter Street.