Tuesday, December 04, 2007

stories we tell

Cuddled together under the comforter, Sage offered up the usual challenge.

"It's time to tell stories, Dad," she said. "You tell one and I'll tell one."

"Oh, no," I told her, shaking my head. "I don't have a happy one in mind."

"What kind do you have?"

"Well, it's kind of bittersweet."

She expelled a sigh then looked me in the eye. "I like those too - but they make me cry, Daddy."

"They make me cry too, you know."

"Is it really really sad?"

"Well, not really really sad," I said.

"Ok, then you can tell your story - but mine will be really really exciting. An adventure, okay?"

"Ok," I agreed. "But you go first."

And she launched into an adventurous romp featuring lost crayons attempting to find their way back home, helped by the objects that shared similar hues.

I applauded when she was done, then cleared my throat and made ready to begin my own story when she raised a hand to stop me.

"Why?" I asked her. "Don't you want to listen to mine?"

"I do, Dad," Sage said as she nuzzled her way into my arms. "But I want to be here right next to you because I know your story is sad."

And so I told the story and my 5 year-old listened. When we got to the really really sad part, she looked up to me with tears in her eyes, which provoked my own.

"Can't this story be a little bit happy?"

"Wait and see."

And I finished the story, with a little happiness, and held the little girl I loved so much, and we shared that moment after a story is told when only perfect silence is acceptable.

"That made me cry, Dad, but I really really liked your story," she told me later. "Now let's tell Mommy and make her cry."



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