Reading Outside the Box

Reading Outside the Box

Jill Berrett Given

Last week I met up with a friend and her kids for the day. We did the usual little kid summer activities- a playground, walking around town square, and watching a couple trains go by the little train station there in old town. It was a lovely, but swelteringly hot and humid day, so we decided to end it at a little ice cream stand, home of my favorite brownie batter shake. It’s a seasonal stand, closed in the winter, and this was my first time there this summer. I was pretty tickled to see that they had added a little free library box since the last time I had been. After the kids had slurped down their cones and been wiped down with diaper wipes, we let them roam while my friend and I chatted. They climbed trees and took turns lifting each other up to sample books from the little library box. 

After my friend had to go, my kids asked me to read them a few of the books they had retrieved from the box, so we stayed a while longer, sitting on a bench together reading books about R2D2, cats and a surprisingly delightful find called Drummer Hoff (the illustrations were amazing)!

Once we ran out of kids’ books in the little library, we headed home and back to our usual evening rush of getting dinner ready, greeting Daddy when he got home and cramming in just a little more play time. We found ourselves rushing at bedtime, for no particular reason, so when our oldest reminded me about marking off a day on our summer reading chart, I was all ready to tell him we hadn’t had time to read at bedtime that day. While that was true, I suddenly remembered those fifteen or so sweet minutes of reading to my three crazies, curled up on a park bench outside of an ice cream stand in the middle of the day. 

Just because our reading time that day hadn’t happened when it usually does, doesn’t mean it didn’t count! In fact, it probably counted even more, and we will probably remember it more, because of its uniqueness! What a wonderful reminder to me to keep thinking- and reading- outside the box. There are opportunities all around us, and at all different times, to bring a little more reading into our day.

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