Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The world according to...

Along with bath, books and brushing teeth, we have added some storytelling to our bedtime routine.  Julia is not afraid to let me know that Daddy is so much better at this than Mommy.  I'm okay with this reality most of the time.  Other times I am told mid-story how the rest must go and how Daddy would have done it better.  Yes, I take my direction from a three year old. 
When I let Julia take the lead we are often in for quite a fairy tail.  It ALWAYS begins with "Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named Julia Claire Gray..."  Julia is ALWAYS joined by her best friends, which vary between her many "real" friends, a pet squirrel, and sometimes Jesus.  This is where I jump start into the story, but I have to be careful to say the right things.  I have quickly learned that Julia must ALWAYS be strong, the scary parts must quickly be remedied, and Julia ALWAYS wins in the end.  Without that framework these stories become "horrible" in Julia's eyes.   As we have dreamed up incredible feats for Julia, I am struck by her very own storytelling skills.  Since this has become such a big part of our routine, Julia's imagination comes alive as she slays the fire breathing dragon with the "King Daddies" and realizes that the dragon was always very nice (he just talked funny) and he comes to live with her in the castle where he eats popsicles to fix his fire breathing problem. 
Needless to say, bedtime is always entertaining. 
There are so many outlets to treasure these moments with my children.  About a year ago I wanted to extend beyond the blog and create a keepsake that is more personal for Julia and Charlie.  I found the perfect way to do so when I was searching for Christmas gifts on  I found personalized journals that were a perfect way to jot down some notes to Julia and Charlie on special occasions and on regular days when their personality shines through and I want to capture their reaction or statement.  I have been writing periodically in these journals - one each for Julia and Charlie.  When they are older they can enjoy the emergence of their personality inked with insights about parenting, prayers, and pieces of advice along the way.  After every entry in Charlie's book I find myself telling him to never let go of his kind heart and soft affection. His latest involves his refusal to say many words so his "yes" is a huge giggle.  I look back on my notes for him and I see such a sweet boy unfolding.  I wonder how that sweet boy will take in these words when he reads it years from now.   I am often laughing when I look back on my notes to Julia.  She is the only 3-year old I know who can be fiercly feisty, yet incredibly nurturing and in tune to the needs around her at the same time.  Life for her could be an ongoing musical in which she is the main character and singing permeates each scene.
Whether our days are filled with phrases that cause Charles and I to laugh uncontrollably, stories of the latest and greatest from Princess Julia, or tender moments that can never be replicated, my hope is to take a small piece to preserve this time. 
And as of tonight in the world according to Julia, her prayer is that everyone should love pink and glitter and live happily ever after...

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