The Millions

Our Time in the Barn: Reading ‘Charlotte’s Web’ with My Daughter

Spring has been falling all week in a mystic drizzle. All I can say is: huzzah. What a hard Midwestern winter it’s been. We hunkered down in our house—myself, my wife, our four-year-old daughter and infant son, an ailing spaniel that can hardly walk—and read E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web over and over. And over. And over. In fact, this winter I read Charlotte’s Web dozens of times. I read it to my daughter every night before bed and then again over breakfast and sometimes lunch. If that seems like obsessive behavior to you, then (a) you’re right, and (b) you probably aren’t the parent of a young child.

Not that I’m complaining. I would rather read for the thousandth time than “make a milkshake” by putting imaginary ingredients in an invisible blender while my daughter goes to the potty, or pretend she is a cow is not mindless, no matter how many times we read it.

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