A Reading Confession

When I was a kid, I was no fan of bedtime. In fact, usually after being ordered to bed, I would wait about five minutes before returning to the living room where my folks were watching TV and announce that I couldn’t sleep because I wasn’t tired.

“Did you try closing your eyes?” they would ask me.

“Yes,” I would lie.

“Go back to bed,” they would say.

“Fine,” I would reply. “But I’m not tired.”

This little ritual happened so often that I earned the nickname of “Boomerang” at bedtime.

But at some point, this habit changed. And I think the thing that changed it was my love of reading. Because at some point, I stopped fighting the bedtime call and found a new way to disobey my folks.

I stayed up and read by flashlight. I know, I know, “What a rebel!”

And I’m sure that I killed quite a few batteries due to falling asleep mid-sentence.

Now that I’m a parent, I get to see the other side of things. And I realize that my folks probably weren’t bothered at all with my late-night reading habits. For one, reading is good for the brain. For another, it stopped me from bothering them during their television time every night. And if it cost a bit of money to keep my flashlight alive with fresh batteries, I’m sure that it was a justified expense.

Why do I think it is justified? Because my wife and I recently found my oldest daughter like this:

Asleep mid page-turn.

Asleep mid page-turn.

And it was one of the quietest nights in a while.

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2 responses to “A Reading Confession

  1. Great post Josh. I didn’t have access to a flash light, so I would sneak out of bed and read by the 15 watt nightlight in the upper hall of your grandparents home in Belleville. I have no idea which sibling(s) moved me to the bed, because I only remember waking up on the floor once. To this day I would like to blame my shortsightedness (literally) on my bedtime reading with inadequate light, but I suspect it is really genetic.

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