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I want a story

I want a story

My youngest son is a real story teller. Where my eldest tends to remix the books and movies he likes, and where my middle guy prefers to remix the events of his own life, my youngest has an endlessly innovative imagination.

I knew this already, but a few months ago I was having trouble summoning the energy to read him a story before bed.  “I'm too tired,” I joked with him. “It's your turn to tell me a story.”

He didn't hesitate. He launched into a long rambling tale about a dragon that captured our family, except that it was a robot dragon, and it could shrink to fit through small holes and grow to fight enemies, and it had lasers in its mouth not fire, and Grandma had to come on her flying motorbike to rescue us. I should add that Grandma has never ever ridden a motorbike of any kind.

A new tradition was born. Now, when it's my turn to do bedtime stories, we don't bother with books. First I tell him a story, then he tells me one.  Sometimes we each go for a second. The person listening to the story gets to pick the subject. The person telling the story gets to do the rest.

For example, last night I said I wanted to hear a story about a grasshopper. He told me about a grasshopper named Daddy who was tired of running away from the lawnmower, so he went to a mad scientist and got a special ooze that made him bigger than the trees, and then he went back to his house and chased the owner around with his own lawnmower. It was amazing.

Over the past months I've heard stories about giants who eat all the sushi in the whole kingdom, about magic flying skateboards, and about knights who can't go pee because there aren't any holes in their armour. Every night it's something new and bizarre, and I love it. 

Now I look forward to storytime almost as much as he does.

Luke Hill is a stay-at-home father of three boys, aged 10, 8, and 4.  He has fathered, fostered, adopted, or provided a temporary home for kids anywhere between birth and university.  He has taught college courses, adoption seminars, camp groups, Sunday School classes, rugby teams, not to mention his own homeschooled kids.