Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: Bed-time

Miffy would be there. And a bear called … what was his name? We used to joke that we’d almost called G… Wilberforce… that was the name. A bear called Wilberforce. Talking teddies and donkeys that wanted to do the right thing, but managed to get it wrong. We would bring singing ducks and people who went flying on the string of a balloon to bed each night. I would sit in with G and he would pick out the book, and I would read. It lasted only a few years, and the pang the night he grabbed his book and announced that he could now read for himself felt almost like the pang (accompanied by a certain relief also), the evening I realised he actually could sleep without nursing at my breast, that he didn’t need me in the way he had from birth. I’d been reading to him, singing and telling him stories from the day he was born. Bed-time involved those stories that came from books, and stories of himself, of us. His favourite story was the one of the Monday night and early Tuesday morning during which he made his way into this world. And then what happened? And when the nurse told Daddy to go home, he didn’t go, did he? (No, he didn’t… and a good thing too, because even though all the nurses thought you would take a long time coming, they didn’t know who we were dealing with … a little boy who would always be in a hurry, isn’t that right?) And next morning, who came? Auntie Annie, with a stuffed dog, saying every boy should have a dog, and Aideen the nurse, with your first book – a book of nursery rhymes, and we would sing some of the rhymes from that first book, and we would count One to Ten and down again from the book that had come from his cousin’s first library, and read bits from Enid Blyton, and stories from Childcraft, and it was there, in the little bed in that little blue room that my son’s love of books came into being. His voracious appetite for books hasn’t been stunted by even his fascination with Gameboy, Nintendo and Internet; not by his social life, not by girls, not by college. Now it’s John Grisham and Michael Connelly. Now it’s mystery and thriller, but I don’t mind what it is – so long as my son is happy and comfortable with a book in his hands, and realises the joy there is to be had from the words and the worlds to be found between the covers of a book, so long as he is likely to be a parent who, when his own children ask for a story, will find it the most natural thing in the world, to reach for a book, and to become lost in that world all over again.

More Sunday Scribblings on the topic of Bed-Time will be found HERE

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At 29/10/06 12:14 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My, this certainly brought back memories of reading to my boy. He could never get enough stories either, and eventually started writing his own!

Lovely post :)

At 29/10/06 1:27 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a touching post about your nighttime rituals with your son. I remember reading from Childcraft in elementary school. Thanks for the memories.

At 29/10/06 2:02 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother used to tell me about the TEN HOURS of labor I put her through...a little less endearing, but, like your son's story, it became part of my identity.

This is very nicely told -- the details, especially, about the stuffed animals, helped me to feel that place before falling asleep at bedtime -- when you are "comefy" and tender.

At 29/10/06 2:19 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

awww...I know I'll miss these days of cuddling with my toddler at bedtime...even if I don't quite believe it now.

Thanks for the poignant post and reminder.

At 29/10/06 5:10 am, Blogger Amber said...

There are some nights i just want to skip the bedtime books, and kiss him goodnight! So thanks for this. I see that I am helping him love books, and also creating something special for us both to remember later. :)


At 29/10/06 7:40 pm, Blogger Rowan said...

A bedtime story was a nightly ritual with all three of my children too. Blackberry Farm, Mr Men and as they got older we progressed to The Magic Faraway Tree and other longer stories. All three(now in their 20s and 30s) still read a lot which I'm so pleased about, books are a wonderful escape route when life isn't all it might be.

At 30/10/06 12:10 am, Blogger paris parfait said...

I think reading to one's children is a lifelong gift - the joy of reading and learning and curiosity - and your post shows this beautifully.

At 30/10/06 7:09 pm, Anonymous tinker said...

What lovely memories your post brings back! This post resonates for me... Reading to and with my children is one of my favorite memories. Knowing what avid readers they are now, as adults (and seeing my older daughter reading to her own children), is one of my greatest satisfactions as a parent.

At 31/10/06 1:39 am, Blogger deirdre said...

This is so touching. You are a wise parent to know that it's the act of reading that's important, establishing a love of the written word. Even through all the distractions of young adulthood.

At 2/11/06 1:11 pm, Blogger sheryl said...

As a young girl I would spend hours in my room reading the same Enid Blyton books over and over. My favorite was the The far away tree and the Wishing Chair. I still have most of my collection. (at age 43) Now I read them to my children. Lovely story about you and your son.

At 4/11/06 5:16 am, Blogger Wenda said...

Oh, that's a lovely touching story.

Thaks for letting me know you enjoyed the continuing education quote.


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