It is a wonderful treat to have a Small that so loves her books. She reads to her little sister and it is lovely to see. Just because she can read doesn’t mean she doesn’t like be read to…it’s one of her favourite things.

Something new has begun. Each night, after the wee, teeth, PJs and two books she gets into bed and wants to read before she goes to sleep.

A week or so ago, it was still light enough when she went to bed for her to read with the window blind raised. Now? Winter approacheth. For the past three nights I’ve given her a little antique bedside light that I get out for my mum when she stays.

The switch is stiff – too stiff for her to turn on. But she can turn it off. I tell her she can read a little bit and then she needs to turn off the light and turn on her own audiobook CD and go to sleep. And this is exactly what she does.

My heart crumples a little, in a lovely messy way, to say that she just doesn’t think of prolonging it and reading as long as she possibly can. That may come later. For now, she’s happy enough just to have the autonomy of having her own bedside light and the authority to turn it off when she feels the time is right. There is so much that is good in her little heart that it sometimes makes me ache.

While you’re at it
Leave the nightlight on
Inside the birdhouse in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I’m the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul