For an assignment for my Storytelling class, I had to keep a story journal of stories people tell everyday. Mostly I recorded stories I found myself telling. Here are a few of them:
(2/02/08)- The first day I started keeping track of stories in my daily life in this journal I found myself telling a story: It was in the car on the way to my sons’ school. One of my twins asked me to tell them a nice story, and how about one about a bunny and a mouse? I guess those were the nicest animals in his mind. So I thought, great, I can do this! I’ve been learning lots of great storytelling tips in my class, and here’s my chance to put them to good use. The story that popped into my head was an old tale (by Hans Christian Andersen? I should research that.) of a mouse and a rabbit that get caught in a snowstorm. The mouse can’t find any place to stay, but at the end of the story he finds a rabbit who lets him shelter in his fur. The rabbit dies from the cold, but the mouse lives because of his kindness and his willingness to share everything he has. Maybe not the kind of story my son had in mind, but it had a good moral. I gave each of the characters as much personality and depth as I could for a 15-minute drive (Fifel was the mouse), and I added some extra animals who didn’t or couldn’t share their home. They were both completely silent during the telling, and didn’t want to get out of the car when we got to school.
(2/04/08)- Today I had another story to tell about the beginning of Lent (yes, I am Catholic). It was Monday before the first day of Lent, which was Ash Wednesday. I had never taken my boys (Sean and Ashton- Ashe for short) to get their ashes because they were too young to understand what they meant. But they are 5 and a half now, and I figured they are old enough to be introduced to it, and they can build on its meaning next year when I take them again. I asked them on that Monday if they would like to go to church with me really early in the morning before school for Ash Wednesday to get ashes on our foreheads. Sean’s immediate reaction was, “Ashton Wednesday? What about Sean Wednesday?” I was doing my best to stop laughing and explain to him what Ash Wednesday was when his second question came, “Will the ashes burn me?” That stopped my laughter. Smart kid.
(2/08/08)- This morning Sean had a dream to tell me about when he woke up. This is how he told it, word for word: “There was a monster and some kids. The monster had a screw and the kids were in the door. Then I ran out the door and jumped out from that high place, but it didn’t hurt. And Ashton, I saw you going potty and I was yelling and sliding.” And of course Ashton had a dream to share also, but I’m not exactly sure if he made this up as he went along in spirit of sharing dreams, or if it was an actual dream. In any case, it’s still a story he told me (also word for word): “There was a cat with sharp teeth and she had pink teeth, and she bit me right here and I tried to kick her to get her off. And then I went to Gram and Papa’s house.”
(2/12/08)- I had a birthday this past week (29, for the first time, ha ha!), and my mom made me something special: a heart-shaped loaf of chocolate bread with white and dark chocolate chips in it, and topped with a hot seedy raspberry glaze. But instead of loading it down with candles, she only put one on top. Of course Sean and Ashton were super excited, and wanted to help me blow it out. So we each made a wish and blew out the candle together. It was a smoky candle, so Sean was waving his hands to help it dissipate, and then he started blowing on the candle. Well, to his utter surprise and astonishment, it relit! I will never forget the emotions that passed over his face- so many in just a few seconds: first the shock, and then, “What the?” and then his questioning gaze turned to me for an explanation. I couldn’t give him one because I was laughing so hard I could barely breath. And I didn’t get a good breath anytime soon because my dad’s exclaimed, “Sean, you have Dragon Breath!” This set me off again because it’s true! Sometimes in the morning it’s all I can do to send him to go brush his teeth before that first hello kiss. Of course after that, it became a game to blow out the candle, and then blow on the candle. He thought it was the greatest thing since the Cars movie came out.
Kevin had to work really late that night and missed this event. This was my story of the day, for him. He was laughing almost as hard as I was as I tried to imitate the looks on Sean’s face. His response was, “What a cute kid.”
(2/13/08)- I called to Ashton’s teacher before school to ask if it was okay that I baked special cookies for their Valentine’s Day party the next day. They were honey-almond ginger cookies, but they have a no nut policy at their school, so I was worried they wouldn’t let me bring them in. But no one in either of their classes is allergic to nuts, so we were okay! But then Ashton’s teacher said, “I have to tell you a story about Ashton on Monday!” I, of course, immediately perked up- I wanted to hear a story about my son at school! All she had to do was say the word “story” and I was at my fullest attention. She told me that one of her other students ran up to her and said that Ashton was crying! So she went over to the cubby area where she found Ashton with his head stuck all the way in the bottom of his backpack crying his eyes out because he couldn’t find his beans. You see, it was the 100th day of school (and his first 100th day since he is in kindergarten), and just that morning I had him count out 10 piles of 10 kidney beans all by himself to bring to school for their math project. I gave him lots of praise because he was able to count out those 10 piles of 10 and understood how that made 100, and with no help! He was super excited about sharing his beans in class. So his teacher calmly took his hand and walked him over to the other attached kindergarten door so they could look in Sean’s backpack, where they found the bag of beans.
And now you are caught up on my week too!