There are certain non-negotiables when raising young children.
#1 Love them – always.
#2 Read aloud to them – every night, no matter how tired, how crabby, or how many margaritas, glasses of wine, or beers – read and read some more.
To this day, I can recite the introduction to The Berenstain Bears Go to Kindergarten – “It had been a wonderful summer for the Bear family. They had gone swimming and boating at the lake . . .,” and I can tell you all about how the Boxcar Children ended up in the train car.
When the kids begged for “one more chapter, please,” I would bargain.
“Sure, I’ll read another one if you scratch my back.” I sure miss the heaven of those little hands soothing my itchy Irish skin.