“Mama, will you read?”
These are words I hear often, and I really cherish them. Sometimes I just don’t have a few minutes to stop what I’m doing and read aloud to my kids, but I really try to say yes anytime I can.
My son is 12 years old now, but he still looks at me with the same big eyes he had when he was a baby, making this request for connection. That’s really what it is.
We read during easy times when things are going smoothly and everyone is happy. But more and more, as he gets older, we have moments of misunderstanding, disagreement, and frustration. We feel disconnected and it can be hard to come back together. So often it’s those times where he asks me to read because he knows it will recenter us both.
Sure, he enjoys the stories we read together, but what he really wants is for me to stop rushing around, stop looking at my computer or my phone, stop worrying about all of the balls I keep up in the air, and spend time with him. We snuggle up on the couch together, and he listens to his mama’s voice. We read all kinds of things, from short novels to school textbooks, and it always brings us back around to where we need to be.
As of this point, I have 12 years of mothering experience, and that 12 years has gone by incredibly fast. I don’t know how much longer these words will come at me, so as often as I can, I try to accept the invitation to slow down and connect.