Where does the time go?

Last night I cleared out my son’s book shelves. I piled all the books he’s too big to read in two boxes. So many books and so many memories! Some I was glad to see the back of: Goodnight Moon–how creepy is that book? Especially creepy when you’ve not slept for 12 months and the walls are melting because you’re out of your mind with tiredness. Goodbye Goodnight Moon! But so many of those books represent so many lovely moments with my little boy tucked up in bed. All of those Julia Donaldson books–some better than others. Goodbye The Highway Rat–you were awful and your rhymes were awful too! But A Squash and a Squeeze was one of the first books we got him and we loved reading it. Again and again and again. I used to be able to recite the whole of The Gruffalo from start to finish. Each book in those two big boxes has been read at least a dozen times if not hundreds and hundreds and in the case of The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom watched on TV too.
There are some books I can’t part with. Guess How Much I Love You? which my brother used to read to his children and is a very important book to both of us because we grew up in a house without much love and certainly no one telling us how much we were loved. So repeating again and again to our children when they are tucked up in bed at night safe and warm and clean that they are loved THIS MUCH is especially important to us. I also kept my son’s very first book: Goodnight Wibbly Pig when he was still breastfed and used a Gro-bag. Because these books remind me now of early days when all I could think of was making it to bed time and getting past suicide hour. Bath done, teeth done, day done and no one traumatised (much), we would hug and read. Now he is eight and his bookshelves are heaving with science and Minecraft and Asterix and Harry Potter, and every David Walliams book ever published. He’s a free reader now but we still read at nighttime and no matter how much I have to do or how full my in box is, I read to him. Soon enough his books will change again to 1984 or Lord of the Rings or whatever and he won’t want his mum cuddling him to sleep. So I savour it while I can. Though I really wish Harry Potter would stop being so stroppy.

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