Moms Passing Precious Time - So why do I feel so bad?

Written by Marla Paul

This is what it had been leading up to, all the hours I spent searching the shelves of bookstores and libraries for stories that would enchant her, all the time we spent cuddled on the couch sharing them. I'd been reading to my daughter before she could even lift her little head in the crib let alone understand the words. I want her to love books as much as I do, to reap all the delights and lessons of literature. And now she is well on her way.

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So why do I feel so sad?

Because the days I have left when she plops herself on my lap and asks me to read to her, my arms curved around her as she sips a bowl of soup, are as numbered as the pages in "Little House on the Prairie," which she is now devouring. I've bought some time by finding books that are still too advanced for her to read on her own. But it won't be long before she no longer needs me for those, either.

I feel like someone who has taken a loved one to the airport for a fabulous trip. I'm waving goodbye at a face in the plane window, thrilled for her journey, but sorry I can't join her.

It's a good thing. I know that. And now I'll have time to read my own books, which had often sat unopened on the coffee table before they were due back at the library. And there is one other unexpected advantage.

As I was settling into a hot bath the other night, my daughter popped her head in.

"Want me to read you a story?" she asked.

"Sure, why not?" I said. And while I relaxed in the steamy water, I listened to her animated reading. It was the first time anyone had read to me in about 40 years. I loved it.

"Want to hear one more?" she asked. I closed my eyes and settled back for another good yarn. I could get used to this.

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