Last night, my youngest daughter – the only one who cannot read yet, not fully – brought me her bedtime story book.  It was Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat and I thought to myself about how much I hate that stupid book, how many times I’ve read it over the years to each of my five daughters.  It occurred to me that my youngest was on the verge of being able to read for herself so perhaps my time of having to read that was near its end!  Yay!

And then I realized that perhaps my time of having to read that was near its end.  And suddenly my emotions were completely juxtaposed from where they started.  That was the inspiration for the poem I wrote, which brings a little tiny tear to my eye when I read it or contemplate this reality.

As parents, we do get sick of doing this or that when we feel we have to do it so often, when it seems an imposition or a mind-numbing repetitive task.  But if we contemplate never doing it again – having the need for it behind us – it does rather put that particular thing in a new light.

I will miss reading stories to my children once this last one becomes a full-fledged reader.  So for now, until that day comes, I will embrace reading even the most annoying of stories to my little girl.

For little girls, it’s time for bed
But first a story to be read
Come on, Rae, pick out a book
It’s getting late now go and look

Your sister’s reading Little House
Perhaps you should choose City Mouse?
Oh, Funnybunnys? One more time?
You love the ones all full of rhyme

Anything by Dr. Seuss
My budding little Daughter Goose
Tonight we’ll read Cat in the Hat
There’s nothing more inane than that

I’ve read this book for years and years
To many little daughters’ ears
You are the last to bring a book
And climb up on my lap to look

At all the pictures while I read
“Just one more time” you always plead
Sometimes I’m stern and I say NO
I point upstairs and say “Now go!”

Tonight I’m feeling less of that
Tonight I like that tall-hat cat
I’ll read to you when it’s bedtime
I’ll read you books that always rhyme

I’ll read them twice if you just ask
I’ll smile big and do this task
And that’s because I know, my dear,
Before too long you won’t be here

Up on my lap with smiling face
With sticky hands and warm embrace
Soon you’ll be reading by yourself
Old books will draw dust on the shelf

And I will come to miss that cat
That stupid cat who wears that hat
So come here, Rae, and sit with me
While you still fit upon my knee

While you still need your stories read
And on my shoulder, rest your head
And I will read when it’s bedtime
I’ll read you books that always rhyme

I’ll read them twice because you smiled
My youngest and my last dear child
‘Cause time will fly until you’re grown
And reading to one of your own 

reading in the park