Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bedtime Stories

This week's Sunday Scribblings theme is Bedtime Stories.

My father will tell you that when I was growing up I would refuse to go to sleep until he had read through a whole book of nursery rhymes. I remember that book - it was huge. My parents always read to me, and it's something I'm really grateful for. There were the usual fairy stories, and there were large numbers of Golden Books. Apparently I was able to remember the stories long before I could read them, and would complain if Dad tried to change the storyline.

I remember that I refused to let Dad leave when he finished reading. There must have been many a night when he lay cramped and cold at the end of the bed with only a thin woollen blanket for comfort, waiting impatiently for me to sleep. I could never work out why he wasn't there the next morning.

When I got a little older we developed a ritual where he would slowly creep down the hallway and slowly close the door at the end, waving to me the whole way. When he began working at a reception lounge he would come in to check on me at 3am in the morning. I would sit up and chat with him, but I would never remember having done so.

My childhood was full of books. I loved The Very Hungry Caterpillar because of the colours and the rhythm of the tale. I loved Winnie the Pooh - because my Nana would sing Pooh songs to me when I stayed overnight there. I remember the momentous day when my Dad took me to the library and told me that I was old enough to choose books from the shelves, rather than the boxes of picture books. I even remember the first book I chose. It had a pink cover and was about a witch's cat.

As I grew older I graduated to Trixie Beldons and books about little girls with horses. Our school teacher would read us Roald Dahl or the Hardy Boys, one chapter at a time. The only book I can ever remember disliking was The Wind in the Willows. It just seemed too silly. Toad was obnoxious, and I have never read the whole thing.

My books are gone. All those Golden Books were taken to a second hand store when my parents moved to Taranaki. The Trixie Beldons were kept, but every time I think of a book that is no longer with me I feel a little grief.

Now I buy books for my nieces. I only hope that they leave their Nintendo machines, DVDs and computers long enough to read them.

3 comments:

GoGo said...

nice. the beginning kind of reflects my spin on this post. very cute.

Chelle Y. said...

It is sad the children today are so occupied with video games, DVD's, and T.V. Even in a car now.

I remember taking long trips, and reading the whole way until I reach my destination. Depending on how long the trip, would depend on how many books I could read.

Great job!

javacurls said...

What sweet memories you have of your Dad reading to you! It's great to see that you're trying to continue this tradition with your own nieces!