Tuesday, February 18, 2014
you are an open book
tonight i was about to read elodie a bedtime story and she misheard the name of it. she said, "wouldn't it be funny if the story were called 'the right kite' mama?" i told her she could write a story called "the right kite" and picked up an empty notebook that i gave her for valentine's day.
we then launched into the story of the right kite together. visualizing how the front cover would look, what color the kite would be, and made up a story as we turned the blank pages. she sat in rapt attention as the little heroine (named elodie of course) came alive on the stark white pages and it made me remember how many stories we still have to write.
in the little class i take francesca to every week, her teacher talks about how the best stories we have for our children are the ones we have to tell. the ones from when we were little, or teenagers, or that took place just last week. sometimes we can sandwich a teaching moment into it to make it relevant to something we are struggling with. sometimes they can just be about a kite.
elodie loves hearing the one about papa visiting his neighbor on cape cod. the man would give the kids a piece of butterscotch candy and let them see the snapping turtles he kept in a big bucket. her favorite is the one about him and his childhood dog elke and how he liked to roll around in seaweed and dead fish when they went to the beach. she always asks me to tell her about the overnight train i took from paris to the south of france. how the engine sounded. how i was a little scared because i was all alone spending a night on a train for the first time.
this small exercise to recall moments from my life takes a little energy but has huge rewards. we have a million stories. our beautiful moments deserve to be dusted off and taken out of the archive. there are really big ones and there are really small ones. they don't have to be long to be cherished by our little ones. they don't even have to make sense. they just have to come from us.
choose your own adventure.