The world is filled with heroes.
It's true. And if you're reading this, odds are you're one of them.
I'm not talking about the tights-wearing, cape-clad, witty banter kind of hero (although what you wear in the comfort of your own home, or while grocery shopping, or when feeding your goats, is entirely your business).
No, I'm talking about the kind of hero that takes the time to share a book with a child. I'm talking about the kind of hero that delights in watching the joyful smiles form on little faces when he or she shares the magic of a story. You don't need tights, or a cape, or some super emblem on your chest...not when you sit down to share a story with a child. The book, your voice, your time and interest and genuine
Trust me, I know. First hand.
March 25th is always a difficult day for me, and for my family. Eleven years ago, on this day, my youngest brother, Jack, passed away. He was 7-years-old. Jack was born with cerebral palsy. And while he couldn't walk, or talk, he knew what was going on. Despite his handicaps, he was a very happy boy. Jack loved to hear me read to him. His favorite was Dr. Seuss's Fox in Socks. The faster I read it (and I can read it quite quickly), the more he'd laugh and smile. We read many books together, but that was our favorite. So on this day, eleven years ago, as he lay dying at home, comforted by his family and a slow morphine drip, I read to him. I read Fox in Socks and I can still see that smile on his face. Even through the medicine, even through the pain, I know that in that last hour my reading to him helped him when he must have been so scared. While it is not my intent to declare myself a hero, it IS my intent to demonstrate that we can help brighten a child's life just by reading a story to them.
But it does not have to be as heavy a moment. I read to all three of my boys each night. Arms laden
But you're heroes too, or you can be. Make sure you are taking the time to read to your children. If you don't have children, read to your nieces or nephews, or volunteer to read at your local library's story hour, or go to a children's hospital and read to the kids there.
You might be surprised how much of a difference you can make in a child's life just by reading them a story.
Share a book. Be a hero.