From the time I was a young girl, I have loved stories. I would sit propped up against the pillows on my mother’s bed, listening to her read a chapter each night before my bedtime. I remember the comfort of the warmth of her body and her soothing voice as I snuggled up next to her. Reading books was simply a part of our evening routine and we delighted together in the stories.
Some that stand out in my memory are “Heidi”, “Little Women”, “Charlotte’s Web”, “The Secret Garden” and “Black Beauty.” I used to wonder if my mother read to me every book that she ever wanted to read but never did before she became a parent.
Once I could read on my own, I devoured book after book from my school library and often read them to my younger brothers. I would check out a stack at a time…as many as the library would allow. It didn’t matter what kind of books they were…biographies, mysteries, love stories, classics…I read them all.
Of course, when I became a mother, I read to my children every day. It’s one of the best things I did as a parent. It was a time I looked forward to as much as my children did. Often at night when I would read to my daughter, I would find her two older brothers sitting and listening just outside her bedroom door. We never get too old to enjoy stories!
Stories are so important for our development. They help us make sense out of life. They stretch our imaginations and teach us basic concepts as well as complex ones.
Stories teach us new words and introduce new ideas. They show us how diverse this big world is and how vastly different people’s lives can be. These things help us develop kindness and compassion for others. Stories foster a sense of security and confidence in us because they help us see where we fit in the world.
My two grandchildren both have birthdays this week. They will be three and one. My son and daughter-in-law have read to them since they were in the womb. As an author, this makes me happy. As a grandmother, it makes me ecstatic! I hope they will always love stories and books just like their grandmother does.
If you’re wondering if I sent them books for their birthdays, I think you already know the answer to that!