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A Bedtime Story

by Maryann Whitfield

A Bedtime Story

In my childhood I loved to visit my cousins’ home.  Especially when a sleepover was included.  At bedtime we gathered on the pillows, tucked in close to my aunt, listening intently to the story she read.  Soon we were transported to places we had never been, meeting fascinating characters we didn’t know. 

These and many other bedtime stories helped me discover the power of books as fuel for my brain.  I learned that books carried meaning and often contained enticing stories.  I learned new words as I listened.  Delightful bits of language sometimes with rhythm and rhyme became part of my thinking and spoken language.  I learned I could create pictures in my mind that were like watching a movie.  I was becoming a reader even when the books were too difficult for me to read the words by myself. 

I now have grandchildren who love bedtime stories.  We have read many together.  And, I experience a special delight when I find them reading bedtime stories to each other.

A big sister reading a bedtime story

A little brother listening intently

Both transported to another time and place

Both captured by the joy and magic 

That can be found in a book

Bedtime Stories and the Opportunity They Give

The simplicity of a bedtime story belies its significance in shaping a young reader.  These stories shared together at bedtime provide a safe haven from a bustling, busy daily life.  The world slows down. Companionship and a conversation are enjoyed.  The bond between parent and child is strengthened as the child discovers stories that they relate to, that they find funny or inspiring, and that sometimes help them learn about life.

But oh, time can slip away so quickly at the end of a busy day.  However, routines can become the guardian of this precious time ensuring the day ends with the bedtime story.

At Bedtime

It’s time…

To choose my clothes and

To lay them out for the next day

To take a bath 

To brush my teeth and

To slip into my comfy jammies 


It’s time…

To pick my bedtime story

To snuggle in the pillows next to Mommy or Daddy

Or sometimes Nana and

To start a conversation that continues 

Throughout the book


It’s time…

To end the day

Feeling the comfort and love given

When sharing a bedtime story

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