Our Family Reading Together

Looking through an old photo album I found this family photo from when I was about two years old. That’s my Mom on the left, then me and my sister with Dad at on the right. It looks posed because my sister and I are all dressed up. I think that this must be at my grandparent’s house since we never has a fireplace when I was a kid. This picture brought back memories of reading together as a family.

My favorite time of the day was just before bedtime. Mom would say, “Hurry up and get your P.J.s on!”, and we knew it was story-time. Story-time was the best time.

Once we all had our pajamas on we’d snuggle together with Mom on the couch. There were three of us and only two sides to Mom. So the fastest ones got to snuggle up right next to her, but the slow poke had to sit on the outside.

When we were really little anytime could be story-time if we begged hard enough, “Mommy, read me a story!” But as we got older, into elementary school, story-time became an evening bedtime routine.

I think each of us kids had our favorites. We’d bug mom to check them out of the library over and over. We never got tired of hearing her read them to us. I wonder if she ever got tired of reading them.

In the beginning, she chose the books. Later we would choose our favorites. At first she chose Little Golden Books, The Little Red Hen (Little Golden Book Series) and The Little Engine That Could.

Other favorites were Curious George and The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.

When we got a little older Mom started reading animal stories by Gerald Durrell.  They were exciting adventures of collecting animals for zoos, sometimes saving them from drowning as a new reservoir was filling with water.  The Stationary Ark

Mom also found some adventure stories that I particularly liked. Stories of being buried up to your neck in the black steaming sands of Krakatoa or barely escaping poisoning from someone putting ground leopard whiskers in your tea. I’ve been searching for this adventure series but have never been able to find it. Since Mom passed away over 25 years ago I can’t really ask her. If these stories ring a bell with any of you, please leave a comment with the author’s name or titles of the books.

We always begged mom to read just one more chapter. Partly this was to put off bedtime, but mostly because the stories were so exciting. We could usually convince her to keep going for at least one more chapter, and sometimes two. My siblings may remember different selections and I hope to hear their feedback on this. (Hint, hint.)

It was during this time that my reading skills were really picking up. I’d be so impatient to see how the story ended that I’d pick up the book after school and read ahead. Note to parents: this is a sure sign that your child is becoming an independent reader.

I’d love to hear from any readers about your bedtime story memories, favorite childhood books or anything else along these lines.

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