Last night I was reminded of how much I love the time of reading to my children each evening before bed. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred. I simply was reminded again of how wonderful this time is. We are reading a great book(review forthcoming) that is funny, interesting and brings up the gospel in very helpful ways. As my youngest (4yrs old) was drifting off to sleep, the others were laughing together, asking questions, and pondering quietly the gospel. This is no mere duty. It is a joy, a pleasure, a treasure, truly a solace for me, something for which I long and which rejuvenates me. It is truly one of my favorite parts of the day. This is why I chose the name of Longfellow’s poem for this blog.
Don’t get me wrong. Most nights have challenges, and some have many (the youngest not drifting off to sleep, difficulties in getting to the point of reading, my own tension resulting in unnecessary sharpness, etc.). It is not that things go perfectly. Rather, it is that in this time I can see that we are building shared memories and experiences, that they are learning facts and deep truths, and we, regardless of how the day has gone previously, are now settled together enjoying a good book.
If you don’t have such a time with your children I encourage you to begin such a one. How and when may vary widely. We have shifted along the years to meet different circumstances. It is never perfect. But, I would not miss it for the world. I feel impoverished when we miss a day.