One of my fondest memories growing up was having my Mom read to us as we fell asleep. I remember the little house in Kettering, laying in the twin bed, with my sister in her bed across from me, and my Mom sitting between the two of us, reading. She has one of those amazing reading voices that you could sit and listen to her all night, read from just about anything. She’d tuck us in, then turn off the light, and walk out of the room.
So, when I had children of my own, of course, I had to follow in her footsteps. I would let the boys pick out a book each, and then I’d always have one to end with, one that would calm them and have them drifting off to sleep in no time. Even after the boys could read very well on their own, I still went through the routine of reading to them.
Tuck them in, read til their sleepy.
And now, with Brooklyn, our routine is a little different, but it still consists of reading. She climbs into my big blue chair with me, I tuck her in next to me, and we read til she’s sleepy. Her favorite is “Guess how much I love you.”
It’s just one of those comforting things that Moms do.
Several years ago, before we had Brooklyn, when we went to live at the Children’s Home, that was a tradition I was going to continue. Yes, there were 5 different rooms to read in, and yes, there were up to 10 kids, it just meant I didn’t get to read as long. But I’d tuck them all in, and kiss them on the forehead and read as long as I could.
At first, I only did it with the younger girls, because I figured the teenagers would be “too old” for it and would not want to be read to.
Surprisingly, I was wrong.
I discovered that most of those girls had never had a mom to tuck them in. Ever. Much less read to them. So, the tradition continued with them. If they ever thought it was “baby” they never said a word, but I failed to do it, I’d hear about it.
So, when I started working in the Youth department at church, and started going to camp, the Lord told me to continue it with them. I felt pretty dumb the first time I ever did it (April, I think it was your first year!): walked around every bunk, tucked everyone in, and then told them I was going to read to them. I waited for the tomatoes to be thrown at me and the laughing to start.
But it never came.
Every year, I make sure my Max Lucado book “You are Special” is packed safely in my suitcase. We had a lot of new girls this year to camp, so again, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as I walked around the room and made sure everyone was tucked in, I sat down with my book to read….it really is such a sweet story….
And this year, the next day, one of the new young ladies came to me and told me that her home is hard, it’s hard to be there sometimes, and she’s never been tucked in, and she doesn’t ever remember her mom reading to her.
I hope it starts a tradition in her own family when she has one.
Sometimes, something so silly, so simple, can have such an impact on someone else.