StoryRhyme After Dark: Waiting

Welcome to “StoryRhyme After Dark” and Harry Buschman's story “Waiting.”

StoryRhyme After Dark is proud to present another story by our friend Harry Buschman, "Waiting," which is told from the perspective of a grandfather and veteran story teller. This story is really what is all about: parents, grandparents and caregivers sharing the love of reading with children; taking a little time out of their day to enjoy a story. I have vivid memories of my sister Kathy reading to me on those summer nights so long ago. She'd finish a chapter and I'd beg for her to read another and yet another. We read so many books together -- Rabbit Hill, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and many of the Hardy Boys mysteries that had been passed down from my brother.

Our lives are so fast-paced now. Technology is a constant lure and distraction. Children and adults seem to spend less time reading and taking things slow. But our books remain, ready for our return. Enjoy our newest StoryRhyme After Dark offering, "Waiting." If you're like me, it should bring a tear to your eye...

Read another Harry Buschman story “Old Folks at Home” in our StoryRhyme Originals section.

By Harry Buschman

He had two grandchildren – a granddaughter six, and a grandson nearly five. Every night at bedtime both children begged him to read them a story and together the three of them would be off to Camelot and King Arthur or the tales from the brothers Grimm or even the morality stories from Aesop’s fables.

The old man was a great reader. He could be a princess, a king or a roaring dragon and the children would be all ears and wide eyes with their blankets pulled up to their chins, and they would listen with rapt attention. He read well because he believed every word he read, and his belief made the children believe too. They never wanted their father or mother to read, they always asked for grandfather.

It was a wonderful time for the three adventurers. After the reading they would sleep the night through dreaming of the cloud capped castles of Camelot or Rumpelstilskin the dwarf, or the lion with a thorn in its paw. The grandfather was happy and fulfilled. He had read to his own son many years ago but it never gave him the joy he found in reading to his grandchildren.

But, like all good things, it didn’t last long – a few years at most. In time his grandson went on to virtual reality computer games and it was hard to tear him away from software that cast him in the role of an avenger dedicated to eliminating a cell of fanatical Muslims bent on destroying the New York City subway system. In time his granddaughter could not tear herself away from re-runs of “Friends.”

The children slept in separate rooms now and the grandfather stood in the doorway to each of them with his books of fantasy hoping to be invited in to read a story. But it was all over. Times had changed. The grandfather said goodnight to them – they hardly heard him.

Then he went downstairs and said goodnight to their parents as they sat and watched Wolf Blitzer read the news on CNN. Perhaps they heard him – perhaps not.

So he went back to his room and sat under the lamp with his story books in his lap. He opened them gently; they were old you see – he got them as a child and his grandfather read them to him. Inside the books, his old friends were waiting.

(c) 2009 Harry Buschman


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