At night, when I go to tuck Olivia in, jammies on, teeth brushed, Daisy curled up beside her, her room awash in the pink of her Ikea daisy night light, Olivia always asks:
“Tell me a story of when you were a little girl.”
Sometimes she gets specific: Tell me a story of when you were a kid and you had halloween – or a birthday – or you were my age – or you were Abbey’s age – etc. etc.
But she wants to hear tales of my own childhood. I don’t have any idea where she got the need to hear the lores of her own parents youth. I don’t know why she thinks they make the best stories. But each night I am stumped.
I try to remember – interesting things that I have done; fun things I have done; great things that I have done . . . that don’t include ridiculous mischief that will spur on the mischief in my own children.
One time Wyatt told the kids of how he and his brothers used to play king of the hill on the bunk bed – throwing each other off onto a pile of blankets below. The very next day I came in to find the kids doing the exact same thing. Seriously, Wyatt!
So I try to think of things that won’t induce my own children to wild and reckless behavior. They can come up with that sort of stuff on their own.
Trouble is, such stories are hard to find.
The ones I remember involve search and rescue, or calls from the school, or trips to the ER, or a neighbor’s roof.
But then every once in a while I have fleeting moments where I remember a little something – a story to tell Olivia.
I’m going to write those down – stories for her, and for me, so she will have a part of me forever, and I will remember that not all my life involved ill conceived mischief of one kind or another.