Thursday, June 01, 2006

Glowing mushroom stories

This is my morel mushroom lantern. It's made by a local artisan. I'd coveted this lantern at markets and in a gift shop for almost two years. There it was, on sale, a couple of weeks ago. I bought it. It's become part of our evening tradition. We light it every night when I read stories to the kids.

A year or so ago Erin began declining our readalouds. I think my attempts to encourage (er, nag?) her into getting herself ready for the nightly readaloud in a timely fashion raised all her oppositional tendencies and she announced that she didn't like readalouds and had read almost all the novels anyway. She deigned to join us in holiday readalouds, but that was her sole concession.

Since the mushroom arrived, though, she's back on board. She mostly pretends she's not listening, but the books we've been reading lately have interested her and I guess she's no longer seeing her non-participation as an issue of personal autonomy. She situates herself in the vicinity and busies herself with something manual and relatively mindless like origami or a computer game. I do her the courtesy of remind everyone that I'll be starting our readaloud in a few minutes, and I casually wait for her if she hasn't finished her practising quite in time.

It's nice to have her back.

Right now we're working our way through Madeleine L'Engle's "Time Quartet", having just finished the light but fun "Peter and the Starcatchers" by Dave Barry. Both great reads that appeal to the 7-12 age range of my older three.

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