I am a voracious reader. I’ve belonged to a book group for years, meeting monthly to discuss contemporary literary novels.
And like most parents, I’d read to my kids throughout their childhood. There was “Jamberry,” which I read to my now teenage daughter when she was weeks old, there was “Good Night, Moon,” of course, which I read to her when she was a bit older and there were numerous, endless books that I shared with both of my children. My son lived on “Brown Bear, Brown Bear“ for a few years.
But I have a confession to make. Now that my children are older, I make it a habit to download whatever they are reading on my Kindle, so that I can stay connected to where they are reading-wise.
Right now, it’s awesome. My 14-year-old daughter is reading “The Hot Zone,” which is a page-turner account of how the Ebola epidemic came about and my son is on book two of “The Series of Unfortunate Events,” which I sort of can’t believe that I’ve never read, because, hello, hilarity!
I love reading the same books they are—I love that they can share the suspenseful moments and the funny parts with me and know that I will know exactly what they’re talking about. I love that when my son reads ahead of me and asks (SPOILER ALERT!) “Are you up to the part where Sunny is being held hostage yet?” he knows that I will let him know once I’m at at that part. I love that reading the same book as they are lets me check in with them on a different level.
I think one of the reasons I rely on books this way is because ,unlike my children, I am not a very musical person. They both play the piano and enjoy popular music. I do neither. I mean, sure, I listen to music, but it’s not my go-to thing. Books are. I don’t own a set of headphones, but I read while walking down the street.
So reading is a natural way for me to connect. When I get together with friends I’ll often ask “So, what are you reading?” as a means of catching up. It’s no surprise that I do the same thing with my kids. And then discussing the books has its own rewards.
There may come a time when my kids will shut me out of their literary world. When they will want to read without me reading along with them. But I hope not. After all, my mother will still at times the books that I’ve read in my book club.
For more of Marinka, visit her personal blog Motherhood in NYC and The Mouthy Housewives, where she doles out advice as though it were candy. Mmm … candy. Also, follow her on Twitter, where she never refers to herself in the third person, but does have a potty mouth. Sorry!
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