Path to Story Ch. 17: Morning Time

Each day offers its own challenges and blessings and how we wake up to meet them can determine our ability to overcome and/or receive them.  Furthermore, we equip our children for better or for worse with how we approach each one.  For me and mine I have chosen to wake up with Story.  Before the day even begins we set the tone and as long as I am able, the tone I want to set is “awesomeness”.

For our morning time, I would wake them with whatever adventure came to mind.  Sometimes I would grab one of their favorite stuffed animals and talk with it about the dreams it had or what it was excited about that day.  Sometimes I would tell a story they already knew but I’d tell it wrong and they’d wake up fast to correct me.  Just a touch of antagonism goes a long way.  Not too much or they’ll wake up grumpy which defeats the purpose.

One story that works every time to not only wake my kids but gets them up excited is the story of their birth.  My kids are triplets, and their birth was exciting enough, but when I tell it, I try to include exaggerations whenever possible.  If our daughter, our firstborn, came out screaming, then I’d add that her scream shattered even the doctor’s glasses let alone all the windows in the cars driving by.  Since our first son, our second child, did flips during all the ultra-sounds my wife had to have, then I’d tell how he came out doing flips and had the nurses chasing him.  And since our second son, our number three, took a minute longer to get out than his siblings, I tell it that now that he had so much room, he didn’t want to get out and was dodging the doctor.  This story never fails to get them laughing.

Again, as I’ve said in earlier posts, let your kids’ reactions be a guide for what your story needs.  I know what works for mine because they’ll tell me.  They’ve interrupted me before telling me to tell it differently, so I say to erase what I’ve just said and I pick a spot and retell it.

Each day can be like an ocean and the challenges and blessings roll in like the waves.  By waking your kids up with Story you can equip them with a surfboard, and you all can ride those waves in to morning.  I really hope you enjoy your life, but if you don’t, tell a story that you do.

A Path to Story Ch. 16: Unlock the Epicness

By now hopefully, you’ve found some encouragement to see things as opportunities for story.  From car trips to surviving life and death struggles, this new way grabs ahold of every day revealing the adventure within them.  It can open the door to greater family memories than the ones we get from movies and video games which are ultimately the imaginations of strangers.

Now some days it takes a lot of imagination to see the adventure in them.  Others, the story can come running in through your backdoor.  Here’s a tale of a quest to save a damsel in distress.  The damsel was my wife, and the quest was to find whatever it was that scared her so bad she ran back inside:

Hunt the Beast

One morning, my wife was frightened by a beast of legend that was hiding amongst the long grass in our backyard.  She didn’t get a good look at it, but it flashed through the grass at an alarming rate headed right for her!  She let out a surprised yell and ran for it.

Mom’s description:

  • not furry
  • not scaley
  • small, about two inches wide or so
  • light brown

What we thought it could be:

    • a deadly bunny (a common sight in Michigan)
    • a vicious baby groundhog (a full grown one had just moved in under our shed)
    • a fierce kitten (lots of strays in our neighborhood)
    • a rabid puppy (our neighbors have Chihuahuas)

Just after lunch, we talked about it.  There was no way we would let this beast, whatever foul creature it may be, scare Mom out of her own backyard.  So we suited up and went a-hunting chanting “Hunt the beast!”

My daughter grabbed our family pike (a broom). One of my sons got a sword and shield (made of wood).  He hit his shield with his sword as soon as I started the chant. My other one got a dagger and shield (made of wood but broken).

We went right to the crime scene and investigated.  Right away, one of my boys attacked the entrance to the groundhog’s home.  The other attacked a spotted mushroom (bouncy ball).  My daughter stayed close to her Mom to shield her from any further attacks.

We found no sight of a beast but my wife did find a stick that could fit the description.  If she had kicked it just right, the stick could have looked like something coming right for her.  But we kept searching just in case.

My daughter spoke to some Purple-Princess-flowers to see if they knew. They told her just a little deeper in. Our warrior dog bravely went first.  After a quick search, we came up with nothing and the flowers said it must have moved on.  My son heard from his defeated mushroom ball that it ran toward the shed, meanwhile, my other son searched the pines.  He found an evil basketball hoop monster and soundly defeated it by knocking it to the ground.

Pesky mosquitos were relentless, but we continued on.  I went in for a closer look toward the deepest grass.  Just before I was going to yield and send my kids inside, I saw amidst the green a familiar deep purple cluster. Blackberries!  I called the 3 to me and with Mom’s help, we feasted like kings and queens.

We determined the stick, I mean the fierce-and-deadly-pointed-monster, was the beast.  My wife gave it what-for and threw it on top of the kids’ stick fort and secured it to the roof. She made sure its terrifying days were over.

I know we all are tired.  We work too much to make too little and we have just enough energy to do it again tomorrow.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Being willing to see the different opportunities life gives us for adventure can unlock the epicness loaded in each one.

Be bold, be brave.  See the adventure.