|The Book, pretty dog-eared now|
So when I made the announcement at dinner tonight that this very day “The Hobbit” was out, I got pleasant responses, but no huge enthusiasm. It wasn’t always that way.
When our 4 oldest children were 5 and under, we lived in a little house with 3 bedrooms on the main floor. Once dinner was over, the badgering began.
“When are we going to read, Dad?”
I glanced at my wife.
“Got to get baths and pajamas, first.” she said, shaking her head.
I shrugged. “Hurry up, guys, if you want to have time to read.”
It worked every time.
Each night we piled up on one of the beds in either the boys’ or the girls’ room. I sat on the bed with bodies sprawled against me, sometimes with feet pressing against my back, and eyes contemplating parts of the room as they listened. Pushes and shoves for better positions were given secretly. No one wanted to be ordered off the bed.
Each night we would take Bilbo Baggins one step closer to his confrontation with the fearful dragon, Smaug.
Someone would always ask a question. “Why don’t they stay together?” “Why can’t they be nice?” When I’d try to quit in the middle of a chapter, Ephraim would complain, “No! You can’t stop now.”
We always ended up reading more than I intended. Not that I minded, but this was all about putting them to bed, right?
The next day, we’d talk about what Gandalf had done or if the ponies really got eaten. Seth, especially, would ask me questions. Sometimes, I had no answer.
This was not the only time I read The Hobbit at bedtime, but our lives were simpler then, and we read the whole book quickly.
Once, my son Ephraim and his family were visiting us. What did he read his children for a bedtime story? The Hobbit. Old traditions die hard.
But now I have another dilemma. Do I buy the DVD when it comes out, or wait for the director’s cut? Already, I’m planning negotiations for both.