It started innocently enough. My friend Jill handed me two books the day before we left for our family vacation. Perfect beach reads, she said. You’ll devour them.
I had never heard of the author (Emily Giffin) and as I read the back covers I briefly wondered if I should grab another book to use as a jacket for these books. Because truthfully, if I wanted that kind of a read, Jill, who is also my hairdresser, would be my go-to girl.
I stuffed them into my carry-on bag along with theÂ coloring booksÂ and bubble gum.
Fast-forward one week. We’ve hit all the attractions we came to see and I find myself sitting by the pool alone while my parents entertain my kids. I decide to give the first book, Something Borrowed, a shot and am instantly hooked.
I cannot remember the last time I read a book that I literally could not put down and for the remainder of the vacation I’m reading with the veracity of a 10-year-old, who just got her hands on the latest book in her favorite chapter book series.
By the time we get home, I am half-way through the second book, Something Blue, and have the third book, Baby Proof on reserve at the library. And the transition out of “vacationland” and into the reality of everyday life (you know like cooking meals and doing laundry) is officially complicated by the fact that I don’t want to stop reading ever.
I’m beginning to feel all kinds of Mama-Guilt rising to the surface, when suddenly I realize something wonderful is happening. My kids, who are four and six, have noticed me reading. They’ve noticed how much I am enjoying the book and that at times I can’t help but laugh out loud as I’m reading.
After another couple of days of vacation recovery (a.k.a. Mama reading on the couch) both of my kids, who are not yet readers, grab some of their own books and sprawl out near me. As we sit together quietly enjoying our books it occurs to me that what I am doing — reading for pleasure in the presence of my children — is as important as the many board books I read to them as babies and toddlers, long before they could understand the words I was saying.
And that lounging on the couch reading for pleasure does not make me a slacker mom, it makes me a reading role model!
How about you? Are you a reading role model? What have youÂ been reading lately?
Erin Barrette Goodman is a writer, yoga teacher and mother of two. She is the founder of the Rhode Island Birth Network and the host of a number of workshops and retreats designed to support and celebrate mothers. A long-time advocate of local, sustainable agriculture, she is also the Marketing Director for Pat’s Pastured, a grass-based livestock farm in Southern Rhode Island. She blogs at exhale. return to center.