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Challenge: Reading Together

Read With Your Kids — It Will Teach You More Than You Can Imagine

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Life with kids is loud. Sometimes it’s so loud I can barely think. I mean I have thoughts I just can’t always remember them because of the insane noise level in my home. Kids don’t understand the beauty of quiet. The phrase silence is golden is completely lost on them. Everything they do is loud because apparently that’s just how kids are wired.

To be honest though there are plenty of times that I enjoy the noise my kids bring into our home. I love the sound of them playing together and laughing. Out of all the sounds they make, my favorite one has to be the sound of their voices expressing their imaginations. My boys love to play. I can often hear them pretending to be saving a city from a big fire, or traveling across the ocean to discover a secret island. They run around our yard pretending to be different types of animals on a safari or they get on the swing set and say it’s a big ship about to set sail on a big adventure. I love it.

Whenever someone hears them making up their adventures they often turn to me and ask “Where on earth do they come up with these things?” The answer is simple. Books. We have a real love for reading in our home and we have read to both boys from the time they were babies. When I was pregnant with my oldest son, my mother threw me a baby shower. Instead of a wishing well she asked for guests to bring a book for the baby.

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Every guest showed up with a book that was special to them. They each signed the inside with a message to our future child. I received everything from Dr. Seuss to Shel Silverstein to Eric Carle. Whenever I sit and read to my boys I always take the time to read the note left for them inside. Some books I know instantly who gave them to me before even reading the note and others I love the surprise.

Reading is our time together without all the noise. When the dinner is done, and the kids are in pajamas we get together and read. Suddenly the noise of the day is washed away by a story. Many times it’s one that we have all heard before but we all get lost in the words together. It’s during those moments that I too can travel wherever I want in my imagination right alongside my children. My older son is seven now and he can read on his own. He still chooses to sit with us though and read together. There is something so comforting about a blanket, a book and sharing it with people you love.

The other night long after they had gone to bed I saw a light coming from under his door. When I opened it he was curled up with another book and a camping light. I tucked him in, closed the book and turned off the light. As I closed his door I smiled thinking about how little I knew about him all those years ago when I received all those books for him. We hadn’t even met yet. I realized just how much all those books have taught me about my own son. He’s kind and hugs me extra tight when we read The Giving Tree, he’s funny and laughs extra loud when we read The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and he’s patient. He still sits for Brown Bear Brown Bear because he knows just how much his little brother loves it. Our love for books in our home is big and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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