I've talked about reading at breakfast. But breakfast isn't the big deal at our house. What's a big deal? Tuesday night.
Tuesday is the night you're allowed to read at the table.
I can't even remember how it started. Probably there were too many scheduled things during the day, and someone complained about not having enough time to read, and we might have said "Well just this once…."
Here's what I have just discovered: it's awesome.
I've always know the kids loved it; that's not what I mean. What I mean is that I have just discovered it's awesome for the grownups.
Normally I have a class I go to on Tuesday nights (maybe that's how it started?), but recently we had one of those parent swaps that happen with difficult logistics and there I was. The girls took out their books, and tucked in (yes the books get messy, I've learned to live with it). And I said, "So, does Daddy just, you know, read?" They shrugged. I don't know that they even bothered to raise their heads. And then—bliss!—I went over and got my book out of my bag, and I read too.
Could anything be more pleasant?
See, when you read at breakfast there's the weight of the impending day hanging over you. It's more of a fortifying read before you go out into the world. Plus, if you're me, you're reading the newspaper, which can be…a bummer. It's important to know what's going on in the world, sure, but really? It's almost always something bad.
But reading at dinner—that's almost pure pleasure. You get to see the nice small people in your life deeply engaged in How to Survive Fifth Grade or Cooks Illustrated or something wonderful and new. You get a silent and peaceful dinner. You get a night that's different from all the other nights of the week. AND you get to read yourself! What more could anyone want?
Note: for the less practiced it can help to every now and again mention "Hey, you guys are supposed to eat, OK? Don't forget to eat."