/> Raising Angels: A Sweet Story

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Sweet Story

Tonight was one of those rare evenings when everything went right on schedule. Mackenzie had to be out the door by 6:20 so dinner was on the table by 6. Nelson had a 7:00 meeting so he was able to eat with us.

The kids had finished, Mackenzie and Nelson had gone, and the kitchen was relatively clean when I ushered the boys to the shower. Max was down and out by 7:30 and the boys were clean.

“Why don’t you guys pick out a story and I’ll read to you,” I ventured. Just saying those words on a school night felt like such a luxury.

They raced to the book shelf asking if they could each choose one but I suggested they pick a longer one we could start on and finish another time. Amazingly, it took only a minute for them to agree on Charlotte’s Web.

This sweet story is one of my childhood favorites. I loved the book and adored the movie…still do. My heart went all pitter patter when they handed me the book with those etch-like illustrations on the cover.

Since we were already upstairs, I opted to do the reading in Aiden’s bed. I plopped down on my stomach in the middle with a boy flanking each side and opened the book.

I began in my innocent little girl voice, "’Where's Papa going with that ax?’ said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.” They were hooked.

Pictures or no pictures, they were in. Questions like, “Are swallows birds Mama?”, “What’s a sheepfold?”, “Manure? What’s that?” were the only words that broke their silence.

Before I knew it, we had arrived at chapter 3, which was a bit lengthy. “I don’t know if we’ll get all the way through this one guys.”

“Come on Mama, please!” they begged.

I was so glad we forged onward because midway through that chapter was the moment. It was the moment the bed got really still and the boys snuggled under the covers and up against me. It was the moment that my rough and tough guys melted and without hesitation or prompting, had their hands on my arms and heads near the pages.

We stopped at the end of that one and said our prayers together, the two of them beginning to drift off. I tucked Aiden in tightly and escorted Dawson to his room to do the same.

“Did you leave the book in the bed with Aiden?” he wanted to know.

“No, I put it on his bookshelf so it would be ready the next time we read it.”

“I love that story Mama,” he said as he kissed me goodnight.

I had all but forgotten what it was like to snuggle with my big boys. Our activities with them tend toward the rough, the tough and the competitive. Stories are something they’ve always loved though. It’s one of the few activities that slow them down long enough to sit still.

As an English major, I could go on and on about the value of reading to your children. I could tout the benefits of experiencing great literature together (and boy, oh boy, does E.B. White deliver).

Tonight, however, was not about symbolism, plot summary, or character analysis. Tonight was about the moment. It was about the close physical contact. It was about the stillness of the room. It was about praying that in the long run, these are the moments they’ll remember.


Blogger Optimistic Existentialist said...

I loved the closing paragraph of this blog piece...how beautifully poetic.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Amy Parris said...

Thanks! It was the moment, totally the moment.

10:37 PM  

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