January was a rough month for my family health-wise—nothing serious, but an assortment of plagues that left everyone exhausted and uncomfortable.
To console and distract my sick kids, I started re-reading them Harry Potter. Even though they’re old enough to read the books just fine on their own, cuddling together and reading them aloud for hours on end was lovely (though I needed a lot of tea to get through hours of Hagrid voice with a cold).
Rewind to a couple years ago, when my eldest daughter got her first migraine. Lying in her bed in the dark waiting for the pain to go away, she was frustrated more than anything at having nothing to do. So I grabbed a book light and opened up a new book: Anne Nesbet’s wonderful The Cabinet of Earths. This book is perfect to read in the dark, with lovely language building a slow sense of dread and wonder. By the end of the first chapter, my daughter’s migraine was forgotten, and what could have been a miserable experience turned into a magical one as we continued to read in the dark together, words building mystery around us.
This is the power of story. To make us forget pain, and to transform a foul and miserable day into a warm and cherished memory. This is why I write.