All my life I’ve told stories I make up to the children I’m around. Growing up, my sister used to lay in bed at night and listen to them, sometimes we’d end up laughing so hard we’d have to bury our faces in our pillows. My mom would come in all sleepy in her robe and say, “GIRLS. It is 9:00. You need to be asleep now.”
As a nanny, I told them to all my kids. The older two girls were always far more interested in having one of their own to follow along with than the boys, who liked a short, scary tale. I would spin months worth of adventures with the same characters and they’d almost have a life of their own by the time we were done.
With the little ones, I started out simple. Stories of a naughty spider who didn’t obey his mother. A frog who couldn’t stay quiet and lost his croak. They were short and sweet and I would tell them that to fill the “story tank” (which I measured out with my hands in the air) would only be filled with obeying and time.
After all, you can’t tell 10 stories in a hour without needing a bit of a brain recharge.
So this morning, Bella curled up next to me in bed and I realized – she was probably old enough to hear a story from me.
I wasn’t sure if she would lay still long enough, or pay attention, but gave it a shot. I told her of the little fly who went in search of a rhino (she has a thing for rhinos lately) to live on. Then the adventures of them together; getting stuck in the mud, being lost, etc.
She laid next to me for a good 20 minutes as I talked, each pause saying, “More talk Mama.” She giggled and asked questions.
I can’t explain how it felt to share this part of me with my own daughter. To take the magic that is created with a story and tell it to her. I’ve waited years for that moment, the time when she would be old enough to love that. I hoped with all my heart she would, that she wouldn’t just blow it off and not ever love them.
So it was special. I was able to take some of the creativity I love and have those moments with her. I hope as she grows up she’ll never forget that I did that with her.