"...and that's when Cinderella tried on that glass slipper and knew that she had earned the heart of her Prince Charming. The next day they married in front of the entire city, and they both lived happily ever after," I used my Good-Mother-trying-to-send-her-little-boy-into-the-realm-of-sleep voice as I shut the children's book filled with more color than plot. I let my gaze find its way to my son's face, anticipating drooping eyes. But instead they glowed a fierce white in the dimmed light, blinking at me with a worried alertness.
This startled me, really threw me. Maybe I hadn't added enough Johnson's Baby Lotion to my voice. That formula that promised relaxation amongst tiny offspring across the world had failed me, or maybe it was my own fault.
My mother read me stories when I was his age, but they'd always left me dry. Itchy. Wanting something else. Something more. I knew that I was a failure as a mother in the subject of bedtime-story-telling, and I'd been so sure for so long tha