This morning, like every morning, Jackson quietly walked into our room and came to my side of the bed to wake me up. He stood there silently, and then held a book out to me. When I took the book, he silently turned around, left our room, and a few moments later, returned with 3 more books. He silently handed those to me as well before turning around, leaving our room, and coming back a few moments later with another 4 books. Finally having collected all of them, he finally said something, his first words of the day…”Books mommy!”
Last night before I went to bed, I headed to Jackson’s room for the last step of our recent nightly ritual. I softly opened the door, cracking it just enough so that I could see where I was stepping, and quietly made my way to his bed. I leaned over and began pulling the books from around, under, and in this instance, on top of him, moving them to the floor. He had one in his arms that I slowly pulled away, lucky not to wake him this time.
A few nights ago, I was doing the nightly book extraction when Jackson woke up. Before he was even fully awake, he started to feel around for the books, and when he couldn’t put his hands on them, he started to whimper, “books? books in my bed?” until I was compelled to put one in his eyeline so he would calm back down. He reached out a hand to put on the book, and fell back asleep.
The books don’t start out in the bed. Oh no. They start out on the bookshelf, or the dresser, or the floor. But sometime after we close his door at night, he collects anywhere from 4 to 7 books (many of which are library books) and brings them to bed, where he ends up…nested with them. My child doesn’t sleep with a lovey, but he does sleep with a giant Llama Llama Mad At Mama in his arms (wonder if there’s a message in there…hmmm).
The bookworm in me thrills at this recent development. He doesn’t always want to actually READ books (that would require sitting still you know), but that he finds them to be comforting? To be something that brings him calm? That he feels safe & happy with? That makes my heart swell. As someone who loves books, who has found them to be my source of comfort for almost my whole life, one of my biggest hopes is that my kiddo will like books too…and one of my biggest fears is that he won’t. And while I know that SLEEPING with books is no guarantee of future endeavors to READ books, I have to think that having them be a presence in whatever capacity now will only make it more likely that he enjoys them later.
And even if he doesn’t, well at least I can think back to when he was a little boy and slept with his books and woke up calling out for his books and brought his books to our room before even saying good morning.