What? The Room of Requirement is a perfect place for this special mirror.

What? The Room of Requirement is a perfect place for this special mirror.

We have a longstanding family tradition of reading aloud to one another. My husband and I started it when we were newlyweds, and of course we read to the children. (“I want to read Fancy Nancy – AGAIN!” quoth the two year old.) Sometimes, I just start reading out loud, and my son is drawn inexorably into the vortex of the story as he leaps and plays in his four year old way. He’ll appear not to be paying attention, until he quizzes me on a detail of the story.

In addition to reading to one another, we also incorporate props from our favorite books into the architecture. In the not too distant future, the children will understand the reference in our powder room mirror. They’ll get the joke when they read the Elvish runes (Thanks, Tolkien) spelling out a quotation from Dune around the edges of the Pensieve mysteriously smoking at Hallowe’en. Maybe I’ll finish my middle grade fantasy trilogy in time for them to see references to its themes in artwork as well.

My son is just learning to scratch out letters in the pattern of words, but already he wants to be a writer “like Mama.” My daughter is a natural storyteller. Her small voice enchants the air in her room as she directs her toys in play. Between the two of them, they could spin a Doctor Who scarf’s worth of yarn in a few minutes.

This is a house where story matters.

When people ask how I can find the time to write, this household, this life we’ve built, is why I look at them askance, mouth open, and reply, “How could I not?”