One of the experiences I treasured most about having young kids was reading together at bedtime. Sparkling tots fresh out of the tub, nestled together under blankets to listen to countless stories of superheroes, fairies, princesses and many more. In those days, often read the same books over and over again. Fancy Nancy, Olivia and Curious George were frequent booktime bedfellows.
Soon, however, my babies got big enough to read on their own (and to read to their baby sister!). Our bedtime ritual changed: the kids read individually in their beds, and I took that time to clean up, go on the computer and do other things. It was nice to have that extra time to myself but I missed that together-time at the end of a long day to unwind and lose ourselves together in a great story.
Recently, my friend told me about how he had just read the whole Harry Potter series with his kids, ages 6 and 8. What a brilliant idea! I hadn’t read the famous series – and it sounded like something we could all enjoy together.
I bought the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, and what a magical ride it has been. We’ve read a chapter every night for the past ten nights, and we can’t get enough.
Without my usual screaming, teeth are brushed, pyjamas worn and homework is done in a jiffy. These days, it’s all about the Potter. We try and finish our nightly duties quickly so we can climb into my son’s bed and devour the tales of wizards, goblins, ghosts and magical mishaps. Not only is it lovely to have this cozy time with my kids, but it’s so much fun to discover something new and wonderful together. So much of our time is spent running to activities, and doing homework that it can be easy to forget the joy of each other’s company.
I try not to let on how much I love this ritual – it’s pretty awesome. I’m already planning what to read together after we finish this series – I’m thinking some classics like Treasure Island, Gulliver’s Travels and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.