As I reviewed images I took playing around the other night, I came across the image below of my wife reading to our youngest daughter before bedtime. I immediately liked it and knew it would look good monochrome because of the contrasty lighting. But it was the moment not the look that really caught my eye.

As I was editing it occurred to me that I have taken many similar images of “storytime” over the years. There is something fundamental that attracts me to those moments of closeness between my wife and I and our children. An innocence and simplicity. There’s a touch of premature wistfulness too now. Our youngest daughter is already learning to read on her own and the knowledge that she soon won’t need us as often for the nightly reading time, will be able to read on her own in bed as her older brother and sister do, is sobering. I say “as often for nightly reading time” because, even with our older kids reading their own books, we still usually have a book on hand that we read as a family some nights. Those books have transitioned from picture books to chapter books,[1] which is a nice change, but it just feels different.

It’s still special, a moment worth savoring, but the innocence of reading to them when they were younger is lost. A corner turned that we won’t ever pass around again.

  1. Some suggestions for those with kids in the 6–10 year old range: Wonder, The Elephant in the Garden, Wild Wings, Nature Girl, and The One and Only Ivan  ↩