Friday, January 4, 2019

Reading in My Real Life

Christmas Vacation

There's maybe a no better time of year to read than in the winter--blankets, fires, tea.  Night comes early and settling early feels right.  

With the structure that school provided we were able to read after dinner on most nights.  

actual photo of our family reading after dinner, try to contain your envy

But over Christmas vacation, things changed.  

Maybe you've seen that meme about Christmas Eve reading in Scandinavia or wherever.  Friends have sent that to me on more than one occasion.  It sounds like an amazing tradition but because our Christmas Eve can be described with words like, "frantic," "rushing," and "full" this meme kind of makes me resent our version of the holiday.  

We spent the day (as we do most years) cooking, cleaning, and packing for Grandma's house.  There is last minute wrapping and I always get the bug to catch up my laundry.  This bug leaves me alone the other 364 days of the year.  

I made apple rolls and a huge mess in the kitchen.  We had not visited Santa yet and so on Christmas Eve we found ourselves waiting in lines for pictures with the big guy.  Every year we go to church and out for a fancy dinner.  It's a lot for one day.  

There was no reading before bed.  There was no reading at all.  

We went to visit family and still, we did not read.  What was happening to us????  

But then we came home and the kids had lots of Christmas gifts to explore and I had a couple of books I was hoping to dig into before the end of the year.  A perfect match.  I opened my book and then, they started talking to me and didn't stop.  "Mom, look at this."  "Mom, do you want to play this game?"  "Mom, what's for breakfast?"  

I knew the right thing was not to hole up with my books and leave my kids to fend for themselves.  I was caught in the tension between doing what I wanted to do and doing the right thing for longer than I care to admit.  I'd engage with them grudgingly but eventually, I would find the fun of it.  We saw a movie, we played games, we talked and spent time together.  It never looked like a perfect family moment, but it was good.  Very good.  

Instead of getting hours of uninterrupted reading time I caught bits and pieces here and there and wound up finishing the books I had wanted to read.  

My life lesson this Christmas break: Live your life and don't get panicked about reading--it will happen if you really love it.  And I do really love it.  

Did you get any reading done?  

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