It's a little before 3:00... both boys are down for naps... and Lamb and I just finished reading time. Right now she is in the craft room, whipping up some new piece of art and singing joyfully away.
And I am basking in the glow of a few stolen moments with my daughter.
Of all the fun things we have done or have planned to do this summer, hands down the best thing I have done is institute afternoon reading time. This is the first summer that Lamb hasn't had nap/rest time in the afternoon, so while the boys lay down, she spends about 30-45 minutes reading. And the best part is... (with few exceptions) I read with her.
For the first 15-20 minutes, we snuggle up together and she reads to me--generally we pick something at the upper end of her range, so I can help her when she needs it. I love hearing her voice, seeing the way she looks to the pictures for clues if she gets stuck on the words, catching her when she tries to mumble something under her breath and move on quickly if she's unsure. I love the joy she has every time we finish something new--especially if it's a chapter book (She's speeding through both the Junie B. Jones and the A to Z Mysteries series.), the way she gets involved in the story and thinks about which character she would be.
But the best part is the second half of reading time. This is when we each read our own books. We sit at opposite ends of the couch, tangle our legs all up together, share a blanket, and sit in a wonderful silence as we get lost in our own stories. I love that we share not only the ability to read, but the enjoyment of it. I love feeling this kindredness, even when she's reading Purplicious and I'm reading Gone with the Wind. I'm glad that I make myself take the time to sit down and read while she's reading, to show her that it is an important hobby at any age, that it doesn't always have to take a back seat to scrubbing toilets and unloading the dishwasher.
My dear sweet Lamb knows how to push my buttons. She is often silly beyond measure--and in ways I don't always "get". She is defiant at times and has even been known to be mean to her brother. But for about 30 minutes each day, she is all mine--my sweet kindred spirit in books.
In a few short weeks, school will take away our reading time most days. In a few short years, adolescence and boyfriends and extra-curriculars will take it away altogether. But for today, I enjoyed a few moments of peaceful bonding with my baby girl that I hope she will carry with her throughout her life. I know I will.