Parenting a tween means negotiating a whole lot of changes in your child that come with them maturing. It’s amazing, and complicated, and sometimes fun, and often challenging.
While I’ve found having a tween to be a lot more fun than I anticipated, the shift from cute little person who needs you to adolescent who is embarrassed by you is difficult. Entering the tween and teen years means saying goodbye to some of the sweet rituals of childhood.
One thing I miss the most is the ways I used to read with my sweet girl.
We read a lot, at all hours of the day.
We loved going to story time. I miss checking out story time with Fancy Nancy at the local book store, and I really miss story time. Story time at the Chicago Public Library was a standing date for my daughter and me. I would plop down on the library floor, she would climb into my lap and we would travel together to whatever new worlds the librarians selected for us.
I remember a friend telling me in second grade that they had stopped, and that made my heart heavy. I couldn’t imagine not reading to my girl at that point. I confess that I would sometimes get her ready for bed a bit early so we could spend some extra time with the pile of picture books on the nightstand or the latest installment of the Little House on the Prairie series.
I really didn't mind reading Goodnight Moon a zillion times. Honest. I loved the images in the Angelina Ballerina books. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and SuperFudge cracked me up.
Bedtime all snuggled up with my girl was my favorite part of my day, slow and sweet. I loved the closeness of it, sharing both the physical space and the emotional journey of that evening’s story. When it felt like so much of the world was beyond on my control or understanding, I found sanctuary in our nighttime ritual.
We still do family reading time, but it’s not the same. My kiddo has moved on to books that she’d like to read on her own, and she’s at the age where snuggling in bed with a book with a parent is weird. Like, really weird. I know that stopping was developmentally appropriate, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss bedtime stories.
I miss the child who fit so perfectly in the crook of my arm, I miss the stories that were so simple yet also so beautiful. I miss the uninterrupted time. But I wouldn’t trade the very busy girl who is now taller than I am and who now inhabits a turquoise bedroom for anything in the world.
This post was part of Blogapalooza, an event on the final Wednesday of each month, ChicagoNow bloggers are all given the same topic and we have exactly one hour to write a blog post about it.
Tonight’s Blogapalooza topic: Write about a person, place or thing that you miss. You can see all the posts here.
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