Lions and Witches and Birthdays

Today is a very special day. On this date, eight years ago, my little girl was born. To the child who is both the best thing in my life and the bane of my existence, I say “Happy Birthday!”

One thing that inevitably happens when you have kids is that you want to share with them the things that you enjoyed when you were their age. A few weeks ago, my daughter and I started reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe at bedtimes. For anyone who doesn’t know (is there any one who doesn’t know?), this is the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

I remember the first time I heard this story. I was in third grade. My teacher, Mrs. Safier, read it to us in class, usually one or two chapters per day. It soon became the best part of the school day for me. I had a lot of anxiety, even at that young age, so there was something soothing about just sitting and listening to my teacher’s voice telling the story. And what a story it was! Who didn’t want to open a seemingly normal closet door (I had no idea what a wardrobe was at the time) and suddenly end up in a whole new magical world? The animals talked! It was snowy all the time! Of course, it was always winter and never Christmas, and there was an evil witch who had named herself Queen and wanted to kill all the humans. Trifles! Narnia was the first magical world that I wanted to visit. Scratch that – I wanted to live there! I wanted to have tea with Mr. Tumnus and dinner with the Beavers. I wanted to dance among the trees and ride on the back of a Lion! Who wouldn’t?

It’s been fun watching my daughter enjoy this story as much as I did. We usually only had time to read one chapter, but she always kept begging for “just one more.” Sure, there are people who dismiss the Narnia books as nothing but Christian allegory, but so what? They are still really good stories that I will always love, and now my daughter will too.

We started Prince Caspian yesterday. 🙂

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