Sunday, July 17, 2016

Give your children a solid launch—grounded in safety and love—into the world

No matter how old or young your children are, I hope they never outgrow the desire and need to be read to.  They will leave the world of a safe and loving childhood, but the experiencing of being read to is a felt memory that will anchor them in life. When they have children of their own and they begin the journey of reading and talking about the day with their children,
all the books and conversations with you will come flooding back.

As always, a poem, Talking About the Day  by Jim Daniels, says it best.
Each night after reading three books to my two children—
we each picked one—to unwind them into dreamland,
I’d turn off the light and sit between their beds
in the wide junk shop rocker I’d reupholstered blue,
still feeling the close-reading warmth of their bodies beside me,
and ask them to talk about the day—we did this,
we did that, sometimes leading somewhere, sometimes
not, but always ending up at the happy ending of now.
Now, in still darkness, listening to their breath slow and ease
into sleep’s regular rhythm.
                                          They are grown, you might've guessed.
The past tense solid, unyielding, against the dropped bombs
of recent years. But how it calmed us then, rewinding
the gentle loop, and in the trusting darkness, pressing play.

p.s. A dad who wanted to read to his 2 children, built this rocking chair for 3. An inspiration for a summer project...

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