My New Year’s resolution this year was to make sure to tuck my 9-year-old into bed every night.
I’d gotten into a bad habit of working through his bedtime. Sometimes, I was so absorbed in what I was doing, I even forgot to tell him to turn his light out. It was nearly 10 p.m. by the time he went to sleep some nights.
But now, when he comes to ask me to tuck him in, I get right up before I forget. I hate that work consumes me so much that I totally forget about him. I know that very soon, he won’t want to be tucked in or kissed good night.
An article in our magazine this month gave me the idea to take my resolution one step farther. The story is about getting your kids to read classics in the summer. A librarian in the story mentions that sometimes it’s better if a parent reads classic novels to a child — even if he is older and can read himself — because the books can be more difficult to read.
Recently, Jonah tried to read “The Hobbit.” He knew his buddy down the street had read it, and he was hoping to see the movie, but I told him he should read it first. After just a few nights, however, he put the book aside for the latest in the 39 Clues series. It was too hard for him to follow. What I hadn’t told him was that his buddy down the street hadn’t actually read it himself; his dad read it to him. So I suggested maybe we could read “The Hobbit” together this summer.
“But what about your work, Mom?” he asked, which broke my heart a little. I told him that I would rather read with him than work before bed this summer, and he was so excited.
So that’s what we have been doing. Some nights I am stressed and busy and others I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open, but it’s so worth the time we spend together. I know the days are numbered that he will let me crawl into bed with him at night and read. I need to hold on to these moments for as long as they last.
If you are hoping to get your kids hooked on classics this summer, check out the story. It has a list of classic books at various age levels that might appeal to your kids. Summer is a great time to enjoy a good book together.
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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 14, Lilly, 13, Adam, 13, and Jonah, 9.