28 Jun Richer Than I You Will Never Be…
My favorite “down-time” activity with my children was easily the time we spent cuddled on the couch or bed reading together. The emotions shared as we experienced the love of a young boy for his dogs in “Where the Red Fern Grows;” the anxiety and anticipation shared as four young children traveled across war-torn Europe in search of their parents in “Escape from Warsaw;” and the shared adventure as we read “The Storm Testaments” are precious memories my children and I will always share.
As a young mother the poem “I Had a Mother Who Read to Me” was my inspiration.
“You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you will never be-
I had a mother who read to me.”
Studies kept me reading to my children even into their pre-teen and teenage years. We took road trips as a family where we spent hours in the car. My husband drove, I read, and miles and time disappeared.
My husband has instilled in us all the need to ALWAYS carry reading material. Long lines in the grocery store aren’t an irritant when I can pull from my purse a good magazine article. Waiting for Mom or a younger brother at the Mall isn’t a problem as long as a good book can be found in the backpack.
Several years ago we traveled all across the Eastern Seaboard. I brought a book to read aloud. Was I just a bit disappointed when my children suggested I put off reading? Yes. But I felt the satisfaction of success. They spent the long hours between sights in their own little world of fantasy and excitement. One son was reading “Jurassic Park.” Our oldest son was reading “Atlas Shrugged.” Our daughter was reading “The Work and the Glory.” Ben Hur and Magnificent Obsession were being read by our other two sons. At the end of our vacation, when asked what he liked best, one of our sons said, “The uninterrupted reading between cities.”
And I was reminded of a poem all of my children memorized in grade school.
A book, I think, is very like
A little golden door
That takes me into places
Where I’ve never been before.
It leads me into fairyland
Or countries strange and far
And, best of all, the golden door
Always stands ajar.