One of things I enjoy about parenting is getting to make up stories for the kids. This morning while Luke and Olivia were in the bath I told them (at Luke’s request) a story about a snowflake. It went something like this:
Once there was a snowflake. It was a beautiful snowflake and it wasn’t like any other snowflake in the whole world. One day it fell down from high on a cloud and landed on a little boy’s nose. The boy felt something on his nose and carefully picked up the snowflake to look at it. He thought it was the most beautiful snowflake he’d ever seen. He thought to himself that he would like to keep this snowflake forever. He was very careful and gentle with the snowflake all day. Then he carefully brought the snowflake into his house. And the snowflake melted. The moral of the story, kids, is that, “No matter how gentle you are with things, nothing lasts.”
I was pretty proud of whipping that one up on the spot.
Of course not all of the stories the kids are told are quite so cynical. I remember when Madeline was Olivia’s age, she would ask for “Story Elk” every night. So we’d tell her a story about an elk every night. I wish I’d recorded some of them, because we literally told her a new story every night. (The things you have time for when you only have one child!) But one story I do remember was of the elk walking through the snowy forest and seeing long footprints on the ground. He wondered what kind of animal would make such a big footprint and he began to be afraid of such a big animal. The story continued… don’t remember what I said… blah blah blah… Then the elk saw a bunny rabbit hopping nearby and realized it was the bunny who had made the big footprints. For you see, you do not to have to be a big creature to make big footprints.
See. That was a nice one. Perhaps I should write a book: “A Children’s Treasury of Deep and Cynical Bedtime Stories”.