Most every night my house is filled with fantastic characters that embark on amazing journeys and engage in perilous quests. In the evening, my kitchen table is the center of attention upon which my six year old daughter and my husband listen attentively and join a host of diverse characters to set off on extraordinary adventures.
For almost two years now they have been listening to story time devoutly. When I was working, half the time they listened to audio books since my schedule was hectic and didn’t allow for me to stay up late enough. Now that I retired, this evening time has been steadily growing to be a highlight of our everyday.
Even more eager than my daughter to take his place at the table is my husband. He drops whatever he’s doing on a moment’s notice and sits expectantly while the two of us finish the remnants of our evening routine.
What surprises me most about the attention both, daughter and husband pay is that I am the narrator. In the beginning, I used to read in monotonous tones all the different voices that belonged to the characters in a story, but as I grew confident with their appreciation, I started to experiment with different tones, diction and accents for every person. I don’t know how is it that neither of them starts laughing at my attempts to mimic deep manly voices, or whiny and throaty sounds for witches or goblins, but I tread on.
Sometimes I experiment with new things that may make this time seem more dynamic. Today I tried an Irish accent. I was terrible at it and I tried to stop, but my husband insisted that it added character to the narration. My daughter on the other hand, suggested in her very age appropriate way that I should stopped because it sounded a little embarrassing. Never the less, as I continued, she warmed up to this new element and once again, our nightly tale was a success.
When I read these books to my family, my daughter and husband cling to every word. Gilbert sits like Ralphie, the kid from “A Christmas Story” who couldn’t wait to sit every night and listen to “Little Orphan Annie” on his radio. His enthusiasm is nothing short of adorable. As for my daughter, story time is an attraction that propels her into a realm of wonder that continues to amaze her well into the night when sleep wraps its arms around her mind.