Monday, July 25, 2011

tell me a story

Tell me a story, tell me a story” is a refrain my husband and I hear from Zach at least 3 times a day. Story telling has become not just a bed time thing, but an integral part of our daily rhythm and our family relations. We’re not talking about reciting the Three Little Pigs, I mean original off the top of your head stories.
I know what you’re thinking… “But I CAN’T make up stories, I am so (insert excuse here)!” Let me be very clear about one thing, whatever you think your shortcomings are, your littles not only have no idea but they also think you are fabulous!

My husband is the perfect case to prove this point. He’s a tech guy. He spends all day in a cold, windowless server room surrounded by chirping computers. Let’s just say he does not get any daily opportunity to flex his creative muscles nor did he usually want to before Zach. But now he is the King Story Teller of our family (especially funny since I am the one who makes stories for a living!) Through the years he and Zach together have created a cast of characters. Mango Man, Cloud Man, Mr. Moth, and some other not-so-original ones my husband sprinkled in there like The Ghostbusters (oh honey you are aging yourself!) Doug usually tells stories in the serial manner, picking up where they left off each time and stretching it out.
I am less a chapter book story teller and more the picture book kind, if you know what I mean. Short and cute. My characters revolve around our family which is something Zach really pushed for. Since we only see our family once a year or less and many died before Zach was born, they are all sort of like characters to him. He likes stories about Tio (my brother) and Martha (my mom who died 10 years ago) and Ruthie (my hilarious step-grandma who also died before Zach was born) and our beloved deceased Schooner-dog.

We often don't have to worry about coming up with material because he likes to call the shots. “Tell me a story about the time Tio and I and Schooner-dog went into the candy cane volcano and Ruthie saved us from the evil trolls.” And the real pay off is the way he has started to regale us with his stories lately, his most recent tales are of a naughty nine armed octopus.

Some days I am brain dead, you know they way we moms get. And my stories are weak fillers around the frame he laid out. And other days we create long winding gems with all kinds of twists and turns. Sometimes I find myself stealing from popular culture stories or books I have read that he’s not been exposed to yet because I feel like I can’t come up with something original. And that’s ok. The point is not so much the story itself. The point is you are giving your child your completely undivided attention. You’re not thinking of what you have to get done that day, you’re not making lunch, you’re not checking your email. You are looking each other in the eye, exchanging ideas, creating a memory.

Check in tomorrow for a fun story telling give away you won't want to miss...
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