”A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.” ~Lemony Snicket
Jakie and I are the only ones who regularly enjoy story time nowadays (sniff, sniff). However, sometimes we can talk Josiah into joining us, and occasionally, if we are reading a chapter book, Jonathan will listen from the dining room as he does school or works on a project. Of course, we all enjoy listening to chapter books and devotional type books together, especially when we are traveling.
Story time is one thing that I for sure do not regret spending the hours upon hours in the past twenty-seven years of parenting. When I had several small children, we would get the babies to sleep then cuddle in Mommy’s bed and read for one to two hours, then drift off for afternoon naps (including Mom!).
My first reaction to that is “How did I ever find time for that nearly every weekday afternoon?” And my answer is that I found the time because it was a priority to me. We find the time for everything that is truly important to us. (And I found the time for the nap because it was essential during the fourteen out of seventeen years that I was nursing and/or pregnant!) I stayed home most days and just invested in my kids and home—and I don’t regret it at all!
Obviously, storytime does not have to be just before naps. However, just like anything else we want to do, if it is important enough to us, we will put it somewhere in our schedule where it will for sure get done. For us, this meant attaching whatever we wanted to add to our schedules to something that was already in our schedule. (Another Gregg Harris tip from long ago!) For me, this meant attaching story time to just after lunch—right before naps. There in that spot for twenty years it got done “more often than not.”
I am forever grateful to good friends who taught me the art and beauty of the afternoon story time—right before naps—which we have adhered to during all of my days with napping kids. In the past several years, Jakie and I no longer nap, so we have our story time just whenever (oftentimes at night). I mark it on the calendar nowadays, making sure that we have three or four sessions each week of thirty to ninety minutes. (If I don’t keep track of it carefully, I can easily go a week or two without story time…it’s harder to fit in with only one child who is still at the storytime age, especially with so many olders and their needs.)