Snorts and Throat Clearing at Story Time

My husband and I read to the kids at bedtime each night. That’s over 3,500 story times since the day they were born. I remember few moments as clearly as being read to at bedtime. My father had a great soothing reading voice with his British expat’ified’ accent. My mom read me books like Ramona with that sucked me in and made me reflect on my own life.

A whole lot of heart sitting on one couch.
A whole lot of heart sitting on one couch.

I’m reading a book to Isabelle that I read and re-read as a child. It’s nothing deep or exotic or particularly off the charts but its a book I bought at the second hand bookstore one summer and because I loved love ballet it became a favorite. But as I read it, I find myself pausing and loudly clearing my throat, a little snort here or there. And, thinking back, now I remember my dad doing the same. I used to think he was just always stuffed up but the *cough* *ahem* * sniff* is’nt a physical symptom.


Some people have thick skin but everyone’s soft in the middle. Others of us are soft right up to the surface. I’m clearing my throat so I don’t get caught with tears rolling down my cheeks. I fake a tickle in my throat because I’m feeling my daughter’s soft breath next to me as I read about jealousy, friendship, accomplishment and failure. I relive my own experiences and I wonder what Isabelle’s will be. Is she thinking about herself? Who does she relate to? Do we see the same moral?

All this to say, ‘Dad, I’m on to you!’ It only took me 38 years.

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