I tell my children a lot of stories. Some of them are good, some are about Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the 100 Acre Wood. I tell the story very matter-of-factly, about how my kids are there for dinner with Pooh and something happens to cause an adventure. Sometimes I make up the story and it revolves around one or more of the kids on an adventure with our dog Scout and our cat Guru. The kids love those stories.
This is one example:
Once upon a time, in a magical kingdom, there lived a little girl. She wasn’t very big, just almost five years old, and a tiny little thing of a girl too. She loved to play in her backyard with her dog, and jump as high as she could on her trampoline, trying to catch the clouds.Scout, that is to say her doggy named Scout, was walking around the trampoline and watching the clouds, as he was used to doing, when he first noticed the birds in the sky. The seemed so very far away at first, and then oh-so-fast they were there, almost upon him.
Scout had to dive under the trampoline to avoid the birds as they flew across the yard from every angle. He barked out to his little girl, who was bouncing on the trampoline and laughing, that she needed to take shelter, and to do it now. She bounced on to her bottom Indian-style and then jumped to the grass and rolled under the shelter of the trampoline with Scout.
Peacocks, with long feathers of blues, greens and purples, floated in and slid across the grass, almost hovering as they gracefully landed near the porch. A giant albatross, snow-white and regal, flapped his massive wings a few more times as he stretched out and lit upon the wood pile. Cardinals, blue jays, crows and chickadees seemed to cover every limb in every tree all across the lawn.
The little girl and Scout were not afraid, but rather wondered what was about to happen as the last of the birds found their place and landed. She stood up, Scout followed her and they both walked out in to the sun light.
“You are the one we seek.” announced a very smart looking owl.
She slowly nodded her head ‘yes’ and looked from side to side at all of the colorful birds now in her yard. She knew that they had come for her, that she was needed, but she did not know why or how she knew that.
“Who are you?” the little girl asked the owl as she started walking towards the little brown bird.
“Humph,” said the brown owl looking quite dismayed that she did not know his name. “I am the Lotus King’s vassal. The kingdom needs you. You and your knight, Scout. We have come to ask for your help, and to take you to the Aviary if you agree.”
The little girl could feel the energy in the yard. It was a strange feeling and she knew that her mommy and daddy would worry, but she had to help the birds and the Lotus King.
“How long will we be gone?” the little girl asked the vassal and looked to Scout making sure he was still there beside her.
“To you, it will seem like a long time,” said the owl as he lifted his wings, stretching them in the sun. “But to your family it will be as if you never left your backyard. The Lotus King is strong and time has a way of bending in his kingdom.”
The little girl and her dog agreed to help in any way they could, and with that another adventure had begun.
I tend to end all of the stories with an open ending, so that we can either start where we left off, or further along in the journey at any time. The little ones lay in bed and I sit on the floor, playing with their feet or hair as they dangle off the edge of the bottom bunk. I don’t always take the time to tell them these stories, but I do always have the time. I need to remember that more. What does it cost me? Twenty or thirty minutes of my night?
One day, when I am old and my kids have children of their own, I hope they are still telling the stories to that new generation. I hope I am around to do the same.