Tuesday, January 8, 2013
By the time our older daughter was seven or eight, I gerrymandered my schedule so that I could be home at bedtime, and for the next six or seven years, at least until our younger daughter was twelve, I was home most nights to read.
I’m the ham in the family Bull.
I read The Hobbit and the entire Ring trilogy aloud, to each of our daughters separately. Our younger daughter had a thing for Great Expectations, and we read it twice! From first word to last. I think I hooked her with the graveyard scene at the beginning between Magwitch (pictured) and Pip. I loved doing the voices, going back and forth between the gruff, growling convict and the innocent boy. But I think Joe Gargery was my favorite.
These memories have come flooding back to me in the past ten days because Katie and I are reading aloud again. Following my New Year’s resolution I am reading her Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry aloud in small chunks after dinner.
I remove the dishes to the sink, she curls up under a blanket on the bench, I get out the Kindle, and read a few pages. Whatever we’ve been doing or discussing or arguing about, this reading together—from a novel about an ordinary woman and the happiness she finds in marriage and motherhood—somehow settles the whole day over us like a comforter.
I’ve toned it down some, but I’ve still got some ham in me.