I met some today. It was so sweet! I almost had tears in my eyes, just seeing them again and remembering such sweet and tender moments.
My friends, well, they are not people. Not today. Today they were books at the library. I loaded up our brood and headed to 2 libraries. First, the nearby one to pick up my books on hold. Second, the main library to look for new treasures for the kids.
After hitting a bump in the road about 2 months ago, by letting my eldest read a book I had heard a friend recommend (without my reading it) we have tried to be very intentional about book choices. This takes some work however, when you have a child who reads about 3-4 hours a day.
How is that possible? Well, he wakes about 6am on a good morning (earlier on a bad) and reads until at least 7am when he is permitted to come out of his room (a house rule for all the kids). Then we generally have some quiet time in the afternoon - about 1-2 hours of reading. Finally, the children retire about 7pm, the little ones have lights out then, the older 2 get to read - sometimes we forget to remind about lights out at 8pm or so, and he will come out to tell us he finished a book at 8:45 or even 9pm. So, trust me when I tell you, this boy of mine, HE READS!!
So after hitting that minor bump in our road I became more intentional ab out book choices. We now have a printed list of classical books that are recommended for elementary children (4th-6th I just realized). I love it. I made a copy for each older boy - with their name - and we highlight as we read. So every time they read one on their own or we read one for school it is checked off. I should count the number of books listed, but I would say easily 250? So it is a good list and we are making lots of headway.
So back to my friends. It is hard to remember those little people sometimes when you are so focused on the big ones. And sometimes I just relegate the little ones in our home to the books on our bookcases. While we have many wonderful books, there are many we do not own. And one of my favorite children's authors is Cynthia Rylant. Love her!! So when my young son found a Henry & Mudge book on a cart - we headed off to find more. And we found our old friends. Friends that my two young ones do not, probably, remember, but I do! :) The Lady Who Named Things - such a dear story, I treasure this one. And there were a few new ones we have not read that I picked up too. But it was just sweet.
It was so sweet also to watch my bigger boys take their list and find a book they wanted and hunt it down. White Stag was one my second son wanted today, after finding it, he went back for 2 more by the same author. (And he is not my reader by nature!) So exciting to see their joy in these books and I know I will be hearing all about the stories in the days to come.
I am starting to see real fruit. Not the teasing fruit you get when you buy a 2 year old peach tree and it buds peaches, but they fall off in the first wind storm. (Yes, I have experienced that) I am starting to see real fruit in my children's lives. On the way to the library they were all talking about a Sassafras tree and how the leaves look. This was a living lesson we had back in Michigan in June at my in-laws house. And yet is was the topic of conversation today. Seeing how they are sharing the joy of these books with each other is another fruit I believe.
So, today, I am being rewarded, not for anything I have done per se, but really for dedicating myself to these precious children. I can only offer my best and trust that the Lord will lead my children where he desires them to be. I have been given a reward today of unmistakable joy in watching them delight in new & old friends - books. If this is not a form of contagious joy in my life and theirs I am not really sure what is.
What a sweet visit afternoon with friends.....