I read to my kids at bedtime… Most nights.
I’ll admit that a lot of times I’m too tired and I simply dial it in.
Tonight was one such night.
Having entertained some friends this evening, it was past our bedtimes when I decided to drop the hammer. “KIDS GET TO BED!” I shouted (in my mind). You see, friends, I’m tired as hell. I’ve been up since 5:45 this morning, running all over the place for work. The only person who’s probably more tired than me is my wife. She took them to the pool for an hour while I managed to grab a nap this afternoon. Still tired. That nap earlier? I fell asleep with an episode of Unsolved Mysteries playing on my laptop. The last thing I remember is hearing Robert Stack say “Before she disappeared, she was a woman with many friends and a good job…” I blurted out something to the effect of “Many friends? And not one of them told her about the atrocity that is her hair?”
I said I was tired.
I really do love reading to my kids. They’re 8 and 10 years-old now. So, necessarily the books are getting more in-depth. For the girl it’s Quantum Life: The Story of Max Planck and for the boy it’s Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae. Got to start them young…
My daughter and I just finished what has become – thanks to her willingness – a new tradition in our family. I completed The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe with my little darling. I had read it last year with my son. With him I went on and read all seven Narnia books. With her? I’ve noticed that she’s a bit more cerebral… Case in point: while reading a section to her the other night she stopped me mid-sentence and said “Daddy, when did Lewis die?” “November 22, 1963, Sweetheart,” came my reply. Yes, I do know his date of death off the top of my head. Hint: he died the same day as JFK but it was completely overshadowed in the news. Completely ignoring my savant-like grasp of trivia (which hurt) my daughter then proved to me that her brain operates very differently from most people. In fact, her brain operates a lot like mine. “Daddy, then who wrote this book?” I explained to her that Lewis had written the book. “But it’s so neat,” she said, “almost like it was typed.” “Well, sweetheart, it came off a printing press.” “Wait, Daddy, they had them then?!” “Babe, we’ve had presses since the fifteenth century.”
When I unpackaged it with her (for I never let an opportunity to teach pass me by) we discovered together that, absent the certain knowledge that printing presses are instrumental in producing mass printings of just about every book on the planet my daughter made the logical assumption that someone must have typed each of the pages in her book. Since Lewis wrote the book she assumed he had typed the pages in her book. Huh. Go figure.
For my son we’re starting another classic. I’ve never read this one so it should be interesting for both of us. Last night we started Dickens’ David Copperfield. What an uplifting endeavor and a beautiful way to end a day which sees me already falling asleep by dinner.
Actual line from the first two chapters: “Please Mr. Murdstone, I pray thee, don’t beat me!”
I really miss the days of Corduroy.