“Read the book!" "Read the BOOK!" My son keeps asking me in his very loud outside voice. As he's asking me, he's also poking me with the book. After having spent most of the day running errands, picking up after the kids, making multiple meals and squeezing in some work, I should be ready to spend some quality time with my son. But I'm not. I'm just tired. "Not now, sweetie," I say softly with a hint of frustration, "maybe later." My eyelids feel heavy and all I want to do is just lie down on my bed.
"Read me a book mommy!" He says again. They don't give up do they? I look over at him ready to say no but he's looking straight at me with his big brown eyes waiting for my response. I freeze for what seems like minutes but is only a few seconds. Then I snap out of my semi-coma and realize that my SON is asking me to read him a book and I should listen to him. So, I take a deep breath, sit down on the floor next to him and say "OK, sweetie, why don't you jump into my lap and give me the book." His face lights up and he comes tumbling towards me.
As I read the book to him (the same book I've read to him at least 100 times) I can feel him relaxing into my arms and resting the back of his head against my chin. He is concentrating on the book with singular focus. All of a sudden, as I'm reading the story, I feel his little fingers tapping against my knee as if he's playing the piano.
For a split second, I stop reading and concentrate on his fingers. The pause is too short for him to notice. I continue reading, but now most of my focus is on his little fingers and the delicate way they are connecting with my knee. With each word, the frustration and fatigue melt away and I feel the kind of pure joy only your child can give you. Without realizing it, I'm smiling as I read the end of the story. I don't want it to end. I want him to keep tapping my knee with his little soft fingers.
"Read it again mommy!" He says. "Of course, sweetie. Let's read it again."