We are the parents that read to their kids every night at bedtime. We have been doing this since their birth, yep I am not being dramatic I would sit in my beloved glider in the nursery next the window and we would read before their eyes could see the pictures and before their ears could understand the words. Even now I feel just as I did then a special relaxed peace comes over me when my head hits the pillow next to theirs and I can say its probably one of the best parts of my day. I am eating up the opportunity to read to them until they inform they don't want me to anymore. I am sure it will come seeing as they can both read without me just fine at this point.
In addition to all this sweet mush I happen to be a self-proclaimed bookworm. I love to read and I am not super picky about what it is.....except self-help... I will not read self help the Bible is my go to self help book. We have a picture book library upstairs and a chapter book library downstairs. I pick them up second hand mostly at the Second Chance or garage sales, unless I can't find a specific book then I stoop to the level of a chain bookstore. I love old books that have been read before time and time again. I love coming across wrinkles in the pages and -gasp- tears every now and then. I have one book that I have read so many times the cover is gone and dog ear marks have broken clean off on some pages. As a kid even librarian was my favorite make believe activity. Nerd much...maybe.
Elliot loves to be read to the most, I think. We have been reading chapter books to him since he was 3 1/2 and he has loved the complex story lines form the beginning. Even if the story is a bit over his head he will ask questions until he understands. He can remember fine details that I forget making parts of the story relevant that would have otherwise been looked over. I love this. I love that he loves this!
Grace until recently loves stories with pictures. Fantasy and mystical story lines being her favorite. With lots of wonder and colorful pictures. A story with a heroine that is about her size will always do the trick. But recently I decided that it was time to read through the Narnia series with her. We read them to Elliot in the first grade so I thought that would be a fun "tradition" to uphold. She was resistent but we are 3/4 of the way through the Magicians Nephew and we are enthralled. She is especially taken by the Lion-if you have read the series you know the character only becomes more and more developed from book to book-now there is plenty of biblical insight and hinting in these books, more than the world would like to admit or realize but oh my its there and Grace realized it last night all on her own. I am reading it to her much as we read it to Elliot, not pointing out the similarities to our beliefs rather waiting for them to notice them themselves. It is a beautiful experiment. And Grace gets it in ways that Elliot never did in fact I feel as if she feels it. This is when I know she is my child...beneath the tough no one can bother me exterior there is soft center to her that can be rocked.
There is a chapter in the book where they have entered another "world" (the new world being Narnia-and are experiencing or witnessing rather what can only be described as creation. It is one of my favorite chapters in the whole series because it describes the Lions actions to a point that makes me cry every time. When they come into the world it is completely dark and silent and in the next moment they hear something - In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath him. The lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it. - Then two wonders happened at the same moment. One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices;more voices than you could possibly count. -The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars. One moment there has been nothing but darkness; the next moment a thousand, thousand point of light leaped out-The new stars and the new voices started all at once.-you would have felt that it was the stars themselves which were singing, and that it was the FIrst Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing. The Magicians Nephew-C.S. Lewis
There is so much more description of his singing and the earth coming to be....but I won't bore you with it here. If you want to read it, find a copy. You won't be disappointed,
Grace asked me if I thought God was singing when he made the stars. Oh man what a big question for this old sappy heart. i told her I like to think so. She said she thought that too! How blessed are we to know that there was a God that brought the world to existence. And that the sames hand that made it also made me.
There are only a million different things and symbols you could see when reading this chapter. I mean is not the darkness and then the instant light not a picture of what our lives look like before and after our acceptance of Jesus. Could it be anymore beautiful yet simple at the same time.
If you get anything from this long post I hope that you not only reread these books...but take the time to read to your kids if you have them. How wonderful to be able to have an opportunity to see the world and our faith through a set of innocent eyes. And to hear questions from mouths and hearts that aren't ashamed to ask them. I only wish after Grace I had another set of ears to read to these books to. Maybe decades from now I will have a grandchild I can share them with.