Time Together

Little Gray Time Together image cropped2
© Laura Bryant

One evening, as I was tucking my daughter into bed, she said, “When I grow up and you grow down . . . .” Then she went on to chat about what fun we would have if she were my mother and I were her child.

My daughter’s words flew like a spark to my imagination and eventually became Mama’s Day with Little Gray. Little Gray, too, dreams about switching roles with his mama. He would fetch her tasty leaves, shade her from the sun—even roll in the mud with her.

I wanted this story to celebrate the joy found in the ordinary. Rolling in the mud would be unusual for us, but it’s just what elephants do. What makes their activities special is that Little Gray and Mama share them. They are together.

I love this image of Mama and Little Gray sitting side by side at the close of the day. Our culture seems to pride itself on doing more and trying harder. But it doesn’t need to be difficult to simply be together. And if we pay attention, we can see the beauty of right now. Of how our child’s eyes crinkle when she laughs. Of hanging around in our pyjamas at the Saturday morning breakfast table. Of one more story. Of watching the clouds roll by.  

Let’s appreciate the good times we already enjoy.

In celebration of everyday beauty, l’ll be giving away some gifts that I hope will enliven your time with loved ones.* 

You can enter in one of three ways:

1. Post a comment below about one way you have enjoyed spending time with a child.

2. Subscribe to my blog, Good Books to Share. You’ll read stories of how children’s books have enriched people’s lives.

3. Subscribe to my newsletter. It features behind-the-scenes stories of the creation of children’s books and includes tips straight from their authors and illustrators on how to make story time fun and memorable.

Let’s cherish the many ordinary, awe-filled moments we share.   

Enjoy your time together!   



*Contest details: Entries must be received by May 11th (midnight, EST). Prizes will be drawn at random on May 12th. Winners will be contacted by email. One entry per email address. 

31 thoughts on “Time Together”

  1. I take my 2 daughters to the early years centers. They just love spending time there. We paint and read books together. Today we danced:)

    • Hello, Lindsay,

      Thanks for your comment! Today was very cold, but I loved seeing some hardy parents and children from the Early Years Center at my literacy presentation.

      How well I remember those preschool days. Keep dancing!

  2. Hi Aimee: My older son is gifted and had very intense interests from a young age. My husband and I looked for opportunities to fan his interest into flames by taking him to museums (when he was into dinosaurs and rocks), joining him on birding tours (when he was fascinated by birds), designing costumes with him (when he was into the American Civil War), and helping him pick out library books (for any of the above).

  3. Mighty fine to meet you Aimee. This is a lovely post with an impotant message.
    It was fun to read in not the usual places in our family. Our daughter liked reading under a tent set up inside the living room, any place not so usual.
    Now that she’s in college I miss readin picture books so much I am a volunteer reader with BookPALS.
    One thing the children (K-3) enjoy is my puppet I bring along. He is a little bear. And he is a book reader too. They love seeing him read his tiny books I bring along.
    Best wishes with MAMA’s DAY WITH LITTLE GRAY
    Brava! to you.

    Jan on twitter @BkSeedStudio

    • Hi, Jan,

      Nice to meet you here as well.

      I love hearing about your daughter reading inside her tent.

      How fantastic that you volunteer with BookPALS.

      I find children enjoy puppets as well. I have two elephant puppets that I use when I read Mama’s Day with Little Gray to young children–a large mama elephant and a small one for Little Gray.

      I am picturing your little bear reading his books.

      Thanks for commenting today!

  4. Aimee, this is such an important message to value the moments with our children. We take the mundane moments for granted, and suddenly our children are grown! Really, any of the “regular” moments can be special if we stop and remember how much we love the people we’re sharing them with.

    My favourite memories with my sons are the little things: reading, blanket forts, playdough molding (NOT playdough clean-up!), and the time I let them go swimming with their clothes on.

  5. My two grandsons like going for wagon rides to the park. There is so much to do there to stimulate their imaginations. One thing that they like doing is pretending to fish. They pick up a long piece of bark and poke it through the slats of a deck at the pond. Once we took a bubble machine to the deck and blew bubbles into the pond.

    • The park and pretend fishing! How wonderful. Thanks for your comment, Heather. It reminded me of when my children would pretend to fish off of our couch. One time my daughter pretended that she caught a boot.

  6. I take my kids regularly Library,Ontario Early Years Center and community centers Participate programs and activities they learn & enjoyed……

  7. Reading is one of the best ways to spend special (one on one) time with my girls. They LOVE being read to and they enjoy the special time together. When the weather is nice we take walks to our nearby farmer’s market. We all enjoy getting to know our neighborhood and getting some fresh items from the market. (sometimes a hot dog and a cookie! :-))

    • Walking to the farmer’s market sounds wonderful, especially now that the weather is slowly starting to warm up. Thanks for posting, Kim!

  8. I enjoy bedtime stories with my children. I will let them pick the book(s) and I read it as we snuggle together. And my son will read the book after using his own words as he looks at the pictures.. Best stories ive heard.

    • How fun that your son reads the book using his own words and what a great literacy activity. I can believe that these are wonderful stories! Thanks for sharing this idea, Caroleanne.

  9. I attended the presentation of your book in Prince Philip school, I liked it a lot, and now that I knew the spark came for your daughter’s bedtime chatting, I even like it more, their imagination is unlimited. I am looking forward to have some elephant-sized fun in the central library as well 🙂 Good Luck

    • Hi, Hanan.

      I’m glad you liked the book when you heard it at your literacy night.

      I, too, love the fact that it was inspired by my daughter’s words. You are right. Children’s imaginative potential is wonderful!

      I’ll look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

  10. Hi! The last day off we had together, I enjoyed spending time with my 2 kids making necklaces and bracelets and then doing yoga all together! It was so peaceful and relaxing! Sylvie, Ste-Adèle, Qc.

    • Sylvie, your day off with your children sounds lovely. I wish you many more peaceful, relaxing times together. Thanks for sharing your comment.

  11. Come see, Storylady Marlys’ hollyhocks are blooming.I hear this excited glee from children as they come to my shop. The children love to make hollyhock dolls and we might even have fun making bubbles with my many fly swatters. Of course, each is accompanied with a story created or read.What a joy to share with children in my Secret Garden just back of my bookshop. I am so blessed to be able to share stories with children with puppets, flowers, fly swatters and who know what else.

  12. Marlys, your Secret Garden sounds wonderful! I hope that many children enjoy your store and stories this season.


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