My wife and I, our tradition is that most nights, I read her to sleep. We read The Lord of the Rings, then The Dresden Files, and now, after many years, we are back in Middle-Earth again.
Last night, due to her chronic pain and her stress about finals, she couldn’t sleep. She woke me gently at 2 am and I read to her for an hour: Merry & Pippin’s captivity.
This morning, waking for an early day at work, I groaned to myself: This is going to be a rough day. But I couldn’t stop remembering the soft little murmurs my wife made, half asleep, as I read to her. When she is more wakeful, Jessica laughs or comments on the story as I read; last night, she was too sleepy to do more than make little sounds. She was so tired. I think she was able to sleep at least a little once we reached Fangorn Forest. And I wouldn’t give up that hour with my wife, listening to her murmurs and waiting for her to sleep, and holding her hand and reading to her, I wouldn’t give up that hour for all the rest in the world.