Here is something you don’t know about me: my greatest fear isn’t spiders, snakes, or small spaces.
I’m not afraid of flying.
I’m not afraid of heights.
More than anything, I’m afraid that one day, my children will be grown and gone, and I will regret the choices I made while raising them.
Here’s another thing: aside from wanting to do a knockout job at this parenting thing (daunting as *that* is), I really really want to enjoy raising my kids.
I don’t want to look back and realize, 20 years from now, that those active parenting years went by so fast and that I didn’t relish them.
I’m terrified I’ll wish I had been less distracted and more attentive. I’m afraid I’ll come to the realization- only when it’s too late to change anything- that I should have been more present.
I don’t want to wish I had enjoyed it more.
The days I have to raise my children while they are still under my roof- and the days you have to raise yours- are finite. And I have big dreams for these small peeps:
… I hope that, when they are grown, they’ll love God.
… I hope they’re prepared for whatever life throws their way.
… I want them to be loving and compassionate, and to know that they have what it takes to be kinder than necessary, to live with heroic virtue.
Maybe more than anything, I hope that- even after they’ve moved on to lead their own adult lives- they’ll still want to come home for Christmas.
We are raising our children in a difficult time, you and me.
The world moves at a faster, louder, more chaotic pace than ever before. As parents who long to make meaningful and lasting connections with our kids, we are competing with the noise of the entire world.
And we are sitting here, whispering fervently– hoping they’ll hear us.
We’re desperate to make a meaningful and lasting bond with our kids before it’s too late. Or at least, I am.
In The Read-Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease makes the case that reading aloud is the single best investment of our parental time and energy.
Over the past several years, I have dug into this idea on the Read-Aloud Revival podcast. In all of those conversations, and in my own experience as I struggle through this whole motherhood thing myself, I’ve come to understand something that both surprises and relieves me:
…reading aloud is indeed the single best and most impactful thing we can do with our kids today.
It may seem too simple to be effective, too easy to really make that big of an impact- but the stories I hear from families all over the world, the results of data collected by experts, and the personal experience I’ve had with sharing stories in my home with my own six children has convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt.
See, parenting offers no guarantees.
We don’t know how our kids will come out- even if we do a bang-up job.
But that doesn’t matter- not really. We’re not going all-in on our kids because we are promised excellent results. We’re going all-in on them because they mean more to us than anything in the world.
And isn’t it a relief to know that- as overwhelming and intimidating as this parenting gig is, the most effective way to rock it is simply to sit down with our child and read from the pages of a book?
I’m going to make sure I do just that before my head hits the pillow tonight.
And now I’ve got a question to ask *you* about the most important thing you can do with your kids today:
Are you in?
P.S. You want to get your hands on the new book, The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids