Yesterday, in the middle of yet another icy day where the roads were too treacherous to have school, as I wandered up the stairs to read aloud to the children while they folded the ever-present mountain of laundry, I heard Paulie say, "Hey, I remember this book. Are we going to read this again?"
"Actually, I'm reading it to Finn right now. We're about 3 chapters into it."
He smiles fondly, "I really liked that book." Then he places the book back onto the rail at the top of the stairs, the often storage place of books in the process of being read, and skips down the hall to the mountain of laundry.
Such a simple exchange, yet it caught my attention, and I reflected on it several times over the course of the afternoon. These teens, with their intermittent snarky attitudes and desire for greater independence, are still the small children that used to sit by my side after I wearily put a baby to bed and took a few minutes to read to them before the end of another long day. They probably won't remember many of the scores of books we read together during the paths of their childhoods, but the glint of fond memory that occasionally rises to the surface makes me pause in gratitude for the spark that might have been lit during those formative, if exhausting, years.