One of my favorite parts of babysitting is the required reading. The kids are required to read t least twenty minutes a night, which means I also get to read for twenty minutes while I’m there. Usually I stretch it to at least twenty-five or thirty, just because I’m so engrossed in whatever I’m reading that I don’t want to stop to go back to whatever we were doing before reading time started. It’s fascinating watching them read, too. They always fight it at the beginning – ALWAYS. It’s a hardcore struggle to get them to get a book and sit in a chair or couch. They whine, and drag their feet, and attempt to bargain with me about exactly how long they have to read, or try to convince me that they don’t have to read because they totally read at aftercare. But once they see me settle in with my book, they get settled in with theirs, and they get so wrapped up that they don’t hear the timer go off or notice me get up to fix their dinner or hear me call their names when it’s time to eat. They mutter that they’re just going to finish this paragraph or page or chapter because it’s really really good right now and they’ll be there in just a second. Tonight, when I announced it was time for bed, they even both asked if they could sit up in bed and read while they waited for their father to get home. Ploy to stay up past their bedtime or not, it made me ecstatic inside to see them reading of their own volition rather than being forced to it like a dog to the vet. It makes my heart swell with joy, and just a little bit of pride. Both their parents have told me that it makes them really happy that I love to read so much and so openly, because they like having a good role model for the kids. I like to think that me being so into reading has at least a little, tiny bit to do with them getting more and more into it. It makes me eager to have my own kids so I can introduce them to books and read to them and introduce them to all the magical worlds and friends that I so adore. And, oh, yes, I am essentially bouncing up and down in my chair from excitement as I type this. You’re just jealous.