March 1, 2018

It’s been 13 years, but I still remember Laura’s advice.

She was the down-to-earth nurse who ran the New Mom’s group at the local hospital. In those early days, I never passed up an opportunity to be with other new moms.

Laura was a lifeline. I loved getting parenting insights from someone with way more experience than I had.

And I needed to be surrounded by other moms who mostly looked the way I felt—overwhelmed, exhausted and unsure.

“Make sure to have books everywhere around your house” Laura said.

I remember thinking, my baby can’t even hold a book yet. But as my first-born grew older and then her sister came into the world, this advice took on new meaning.

My girls weren’t great sleepers, so I read up on bedtime routines. Some moms were bathing their baby every night to a backdrop of soft music and dimmed lights. I admired that strategy, but I knew myself. I couldn’t manage that level of commitment every night.

Every woman has to claim what’s manageable; we’re all different.

Reading, on the other hand, felt fun and manageable. So that became our bedtime routine.

Today my kids are going through puberty (ACK!) and we’re still reading together most nights. 

Reading brings a world of magic and wonder into our lives. Entering an unknown world of possibility keeps us all wanting more. We discover these mystical, practical, relational, and fictional places together.

One thing Laura didn’t mention, was that having books everywhere would help us solve every day problems.

These foreign lands of mishap and intrigue have made some of the hardest transitions of childhood seem lighter and more manageable.

I read so many stories to my girls about separation when we were going through this transition as a family. Certain characters became famous in our house, like Penny in the bathrobe. When their father started dating, thankfully we’d already met Penny so we were more prepared.   

Even a few years ago, without directly asking for help, they’ve asked if we can re-read Dinosaurs Divorce. Their book requests have tipped me off that they’re feeling shaky about the work of balancing two very different households.

Numerous times, the stories they want to re-read are characters and settings that support some part of their development.

So books help me feel like I’ve got extra helpers on my parenting team—which I will gladly take!

Books initiate discussions and allow us to express our feelings. They help us learn about other people’s circumstances and broaden our understanding of the world. They help us feel we are not alone.

I’m quite honestly obsessed with finding and reading great children’s books.

Bookends is my way of sharing these finds with you. I’ll share old classics, new gems, and everything in between to help support you and your kids (or just your kids if they like to read solo). We’ll have a few laughs and adventures along the way.

Each month, on the full and new moon, I’ll send out my book recommendations.

Although we can’t always see how the moon impacts us, it’s a constant force in our lives. Just by noting the moon phases, we connect to the energy of planting seeds and creation (new moon), and fullness and celebration (full moon).

Bookends will help you tune in to the moon, AND support you to create beautiful moments with your kids, grandkids, students, nieces or nephews—or any other little people dancing around your life.

I’m so excited I had a Laura to inspire me about books. And I’m so excited to be reading beside you.

Love,

Carolyn

Comments

Sheryl Puckering says

I love this post Carolyn. As a mom of 3 beautiful young adults I have such wonderful memories of our snuggles together surrounded by books. I share your obsession with finding the very best in children's literature and bring this magical world into my work with children every day. Thank you for your blog and for your Bookends posts. Such a wonderful tool for moms and teachers of all ages. Namaste beautiful light!

Reply

Carolyn says

Sheryl,
It's so exciting to find a fellow children's literature junkie. The children that you work with are so lucky to receive this gift!

I'd love to hear about your new favourites too so I can add them to Bookends and more people will get to share in our love of reading great kids books.<3
Thank you for shining your light for us all.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *