My best memories with my children are of us snuggled up together reading books. We would be on the bed or on the couch, blankets over us. Little bodies breathing evenly in my lap. Little hands touching mine or flipping pages. We would read for hours, baking banana bread, stopping only to eat and sit again.
During these early reading days, I had no idea I was going to homeschool my children. What I did know was that I didn’t want to send them to school, and I couldn’t find an alternate option that could satisfy me! Those days continued and the only thing that changed was that the children sitting on my lap were not only mine, but the tribe we formed along the way. Stories came with us as we journeyed out into the world. Books on CD played on the car radio, King Arthur, Greek Myths, Fables, Dickens….it was endless.
“Another one!” The kids would cry. I never thought of myself as teaching my children but learning right beside them. I loved books as a kid and found myself endlessly daydreaming. Not a good quality when you are in traditional school and the teacher is calling your name!
I loved the choose-your-own-ending books when I was young. I loved that idea of being able to write a story over and over with so many different possibilities. The adventure didn’t have to end—not ever! The Narnia Chronicles transported me to another world where good faced evil and prevailed. I can’t tell you how many times I would go into our closets at home wishing it would open to Narnia as the children’s wardrobe did.
My kids are older now, two in their teenage years. I still have shelves filled with books from their childhood. We have moved several times over the years, and I have cleaned out many of shelves. Every time I gather them to look through the books to see what they are ready to get rid of we are transported back. We have found ourselves cuddled up, bigger bodies and limbs, reading through stories that make us smile, laugh and yes, have even made me cry. We are not ready to let go of any of our treasured books and maybe we never will be. I still come home weekly with a new book, from the library or a used bookstore or a library box… I can’t help myself! I feel like I am holding a treasure in my hand. I feel the excitement before I even open the book. The possibilities are endless! Where will I go today?