Storytellers everywhere

I came across this guest post last week on the Blog of Green Gables, in which Mark Frutkin writes of creating bedtime stories for his son.

It make me think about how every parent becomes a storyteller. It’s how we pass along our family history, it’s how we bridge the space between play and sleep, and it’s how we cope with colds and sore throats and broken arms.

Min and I became co-storytellers on long rides to and from Surrey. His dad was sick, so we’d make the hour-long trip two or three times a week with my daughter strapped into her carseat. And frankly, we were so relieved to have passed that stage where she cried from the Pattullo Bridge all the way to Dunbar Street, we were willing to tell as many stories as required.

When I was the teller, she had two favourite types: princess stories, in which a princess with coincidentally the same name and characteristics as my daughter faced a dire crisis (a shortage of desserts, for instance) and had to overcome all sorts of dangers to save the kingdom. Her other favourites were “real stories from when you were little.” And the best of these was “The Bear that Broke Mommy’s Swing Set.” A true tale. He pooped right in front of it, too.

At the time, driving back and forth and cursing traffic and feeling thoroughly sandwiched, I certainly never thought to be grateful for these mid-trip story times. Looking back, I certainly am.

What stories does your family tell?

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