In the past few days, I’ve taken to telling my daughter a long, serial story for bedtime with a “chapter” each night, as opposed to the simpler, shorter stories I had been telling her, all of which were done by the time I kissed her goodnight. This story, about a princess who meets a giant and goes on adventures, has become quite popular with my little benevolent dictator.
At present, the princess has bargained for a golden spinning wheel from the Queen of Dragons and is now engaged in a quest for a very special wool. It’s fun to spin this yarn (ha!) for my little girl. Only, she is conflicted: wanting the story to go on and on, but also wanting to know everything that’s going to happen before she falls asleep.
A conundrum, indeed.
Last night as I wrapped up the tale for the evening, she said to me with a mix of equal parts exasperation and wonder: “This story goes on for ever and ever!”
And as I took a moment to revel at a calendar full of standing appointments to have this quality time with her stretch far into time’s horizon, she innocently and unknowingly starts landing the blows…
“Well, until I get too old and don’t want stories anymore. (Ooof!) I won’t want stories when I’m seventeen. (Alas, too true.) Well, maybe until I’m eighteen or nineteen. Or even twenty. (One can hope.)
“When you’re dead (Left hook!), it will be okay (Right cross!),” she says, innocently, then begins tapping her chest, “because you’ll be in my heart.” (Knockout!)
Then she burrowed herself tight into my chest and started crying.