I admit that I am a selfish individual. At the end of a long day at work, I sometimes do not want to read to my kids. I want to plop down in my chair in front of the television and just pause for a while. But by doing so, I am missing out.

Even though they want me to read the exact same story that we have read every night for the past month, even though they are able to recite it from memory before the cracked spine creaks open, I should want to read to them. Even though not only are they jockeying with their bony little posteriors digging into my legs but we are all trying to fend off the jealous nips of our dachshund who reminds everyone that he was the first kid, I should want to read to them. Even though my head is pounding and my eyes feel like they are about to burst, I should still want to read to them.


Because they need to hear my voice right in their ear, to feel my breath on their neck, to feel my arms wrapped around them. Because they need to know that I always have time for them. If they don’t feel that way when they are 5 and 2, how will they feel that way when they are 15 and 12?

And because I am the father, that’s why.