Photo of Grace by Pearl Beerhorst
The last thing I do with the children for the day is read a bed time story. Currently we are reading through the Bound Girl Of Cobble Hill by Lois Lenski which tells the story of a young girl who is orphaned and earning her keep at a local tavern in a small town in Connecticut in 1789. Reading a story out loud transports not only the reader, but everyone in ear shot.
The younger children's bedroom is the whole attic of our big old house in down town Grand Rapids. Our house was built at the turn of the last century. The pine floor is usually littered with an assortment of children's drawings, stuffed animals, broken crayons and various articles of small clothing along with the occasional damp towel. We sheathed the side walls with scavenged tongue and groove white pine that came out of the old Pike House built in 1844. (The wood which was discarded when they did a thorough renovation back in '07, had me pulling nails, sorting and stacking for two days.) This big attic room with its peeked gables and double skylights becomes extra cozy on a snowy winter night with the children under piles of blankets and a good story unfolding.
Reading a bed time story provides that transition from a day of play and chores into a dream land where anything can happen. Reading out loud creates an envelope of story where we are all knit together in a way that feels like what families where intended to be.