Today was pretty tough (and I’ve known a few tough days in my working career.) 3 hours’ sleep compounded by the months and months of exhaustion I didn’t know existed until the last twelve months and a gruelling, unforgiving schedule that’s even obliterating my forthcoming 40th birthday. Frankly I have no time for the ageing process. The only benefit I can see is that turning 40 is one less thing I’ve the luxury of losing it about. But the purpose of this blog isn’t to whine. Enough of that goes on in my actual life as well as my social networking life. Reading for me, as I’ve mentioned before, is the only possible way I know (other than hypnotherapy and there isn’t the money for that any more dear reader, not in this climate) to get me out of my own head and to give respite from my own cares. I had no idea that reading with my daughter would also provide a tool effective enough to take me out of myself sufficiently to be a parent.
Having poured my heart out to my own frankly awe-inspiring mother on the way home, I came in shop-worn and heartsick with worry for the mountain to be climbed and how ill-equipped I feel most of the time. Sharing chalks and crayons and the push-me pull-you of playing with a toddler was quickly not working out in my fragile state. I grabbed a book – Rod Campbell’s Dear Zoo – and Monkey-face came to sit with me. “Go Lap” she asked and clambered up to snuggle. She let me read the story incredibly patiently, raised the flaps to reveal and name a lion, giraffe, snake, monkey, frog and a dog, struggling only on “camel” which she called a candle before then spending ages going back and back and back through the book, lifting the flaps and calling them by name. The perfect antidote to the tough old world out there. I hope reading is always a shelter and solace for her