I dash to the bed and pick a book out of the pile sitting next to it. The pillows need to be arranged, nest-like, readied for our nightly reading session. Tonight we're starting a chapter book and I'm thrilled to have graduated from Critter books to the mature big kid titles of Gertrude Chandler Warner's Boxcar Children.
Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny become my family that night and the knot from which their presence in my childhood would stem is cemented that night. My dad and I snuggle as they hide from their grandfather in an abandoned boxcar and I drift to sleep dreaming of hiding milk in a rock over which water runs and drinking from a pink teacup with a crack in it like Benny. Tomorrow we do the same and the night after that, and the next. This becomes a ritual. Ingesting text, him reading aloud, me listening intently. Most nights its upstairs; other times it is in the living room, but my dad is investing. His voice building in, building up a foundation and a love. I see it in the way he holds the book, the way his voice enunciates the words. Books are a part of his history, part of his story and immediately I know; I want to love books like this.