We would always start on the bed, propped on pillows in one of their rooms. Each kid got to pick a book or two, depending on how late it was. My favorites were anything with bold, busy, beautiful illustrations. It gave the kids lots to look at, which meant lots for us to talk about.
I absolutely loved when they placed their tiny, damp heads, fresh from their baths, on my shoulders while we read. One on my left, one on my right. My reward after a long day of keeping them alive and happy.
There is something fascinating about knowing that you are your child’s comfort zone; their sanctuary. It never feels like a burden, but a privilege.
When it was time to tuck them in for the night I would kneel on the floor beside them and stroke their hair. I had read once that your child doesn’t care how bad you sing, they only hear music, so I never worried about how I sounded when I sang to them. They each got three songs, sung in a montage. Just enough to relax them.
Before I delivered goodnight kisses I’d ask if they had had a good day. Sometimes they’d yawn and nod, and snuggle under their covers. But most days their thoughts poured out of them, and I got to hear the things I may never have heard; by morning they’d be stored away in some secret place.
After they were done unloading, only the good things got locked away. All the bad things were given to me.
Denise Barry is the award winning author of the children’s picture books “What Does the Tooth Fairy Do with Our Teeth?”and “Soap On A Rope.” Her new book, Tooth Fairy, You Have Some Explaining To Do” will be out soon, so watch for that! Denise is also an inspirational writer whose work has been featured on various websites including best-selling, self-help author Karen Salmansohn.