Kids love to hear stories about the day they were born.
I don't know if you've ever talked to your tiny folks about that day, but it's like magic for them - to know
the first thing you thought the first time you saw them,
what their baby hair looked like,
who came to visit,
and what the doctors and nurses said.
All the smallest details are magnified
because children need to hear their stories.
(After all, what does the middle of a book mean when you've skipped the beginning?)
I try to give my kiddos a new detail often, although sometimes I tell the same story a hundred times. Like music, it calms them, fixing their eyes on mine as we walk the same road. It's the simplest song I sing, and one of the most important.
Ultimately, the words help my tiny folks see themselves in the bigger story, of grandparents and aunts and cousins and friends. Details shape the narrative they'll tell their own children and grandchildren. And this is the context they'll give that story, all the shared understanding that makes it our own:
We wanted you.
We wished for you, and waited.
When you came,
we welcomed you. . .
and so did the rest of your family --
the ones who traveled hours to see you,
the ones who waited home, itching to meet you.
We all welcomed you;
we still do,
because we waited, and you came. . .
because we wanted you.
Those are the messages that permeate our narrative. And all of that -
the teaching and the detail and the time -
all of it both tells our story,
and writes it.
Painting word pictures,