” Tell me a story mama…”
How many times I have heard this sentence….On train journeys, in waiting rooms, in traffic snarls, on the potty, while recovering from the flu or cuddled in bed with sleepy eyes and drowsy tones.
Over the years, as the bookshelves have filled up and the bedroom walls have listened to story after story, my little girl and I have immersed ourselves in numerous adventures, happy and sad, scary and thrilling. The favorite books stand out distinctly – worn out dog ears and finger prints crowning their status as the most loved of all. And over time, I myself have come to love (and unconsciously memorize) so many stories. Every time I read them, I find a new meaning, a new word, a new lens to see the world with.
Reading to my little girl has come to be a window to believe once more that human beings are still capable of loyalty and friendship, true love and triumph, justice and goodness. Like Alan Rickman said “And it’s a human need to be told stories. The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.”
If you are a parent, you have a lucky second chance – to relive your childhood in stories you tell your kids. The value of telling your kids stories is well known – from opening their minds to amazing possibilities to enriching their vocabulary, from stimulating creativity and knowledge to helping them deal with real life situations, stories are a wonderful, cherished tradition. Most of all however, I believe stories make children better people – teaching them empathy, courage, kindness and the ability to know good from bad.
Long after they are gone, I still remember the stories my grandparents told me – of places far away and of people from a different time. However I remember more cuddling up to listen, the attention I received, the gentle explanation of some words, the luxury of being the center of the story, where the world melted away and my mind safely embarked on adventures hand in hand with my storyteller. So the next time you have the privilege of telling a story, don’t forget that it wont just be the story that’s remembered. #GiftTheLight