Friday, February 26, 2010

Fairy Rose

image from the - one of the many roses I love, but not the one I love the best

Do your children beg for you to tell them stories? Does this make you panic?

I used to answer "yes" to both. I usually tried to redirect with , "I'm not good at stories, but I'll read you a book." I like books. I read well. Seemed like a much better plan. Ethan went along with this. On the rare occasion he persisted in the need for an actual story, I managed to drum up a lesser known Bible character or fairy tale. I slipped through the early years of Ethan and Anna Kate this way.

But not Rose. Rose the snuggler. Rose the "will you lay down with me for just a few minutes", then inevitably, "will you tell me a story?" child. Now what?

There is a lovely storybook called Rosy's Visitors (I just bought it for a penny plus shipping - you can too!) about a little girl who hauls her treasures in a wagon to a hollowed tree and prepares to entertain many magical guests. The name and concept, not to mention the whimsical illustrations made this story stick in my imagination, and was, I believe, part of the inspiration for what happened next.

I said, "okay." And I began the Fairy Rose stories. I thought I was just telling a story called "Fairy Rose" about a little girl who found a magic fairy tree and twirled around inside and turned into a fairy. From there all sorts of little adventures have been possible. Initially, Fairy Rose's adventures were based on my girlhood daydreams of being able to turn into a fairy and sneak into homes and leave things for people who were sad or in need. Fairy Rose has done those things. One day she gathered butterflies to fly to the garden outside the window of a sad shut-in she visited earlier that day as the girl Rose. But sometimes she just has fanciful adventures.

Tonight we were reading a book of children's prayers. One illustration showed children sliding down a rainbow. Rose, in all seriousness, asked how you can slide down a rainbow (she has a gift for seeing these things as realities), and thus provided the inspiration for tonight's tale of a lake fairy named Misty who always had the best secrets. And today Misty showed Fairy Rose and Fairy Anna the secret of how to slide down a rainbow.

So the one who was unable to tell stories has become (at least in her daughters' eyes) a master storyteller. For me the secret was to take an imagining that both they and I could relate to, and then keep making up stories about that one thing. That way, I feel like I'm sort of telling a story I already know.

What stories do you tell?

this is, of course, copyrighted by Alicia (just in case I ever write a book)


Leslie said...

That is so awesome! I'm not very good at making up stories; I make up songs. I guess I should at least try stories. Thanks for the inspiration! You're a great mom!!

Rachel Lynn said...

I've told my nieces and nephew fairy stories that turned into disasters! =)
Now I retell fairy tales MY way when I'm telling stories.

Anonymous said...

This post was great. Just the other night I found myself wanting to tell Adelyn a story while we were in her blanket tent and I failed miserably. This was great inspiration for me!

Alicia said...

I think the altar ego concept is so great for little ones because to them anything is possible and as they get older they still pretend to believe that. :^)