Driving home from a trip the library, my 9 month old daughter began singing in a monotone voice. "Aaaaaaaah Aaaaah eyeeeee Aaaaah." She tends to fall into a reverie anytime there is a rare moment of silence. It's as if she is so delighted to finally get a chance to share what's on her mind that she can't help but get lost in it. The drone was not exactly musical but nonetheless, I let her know her singing was beautiful.
"She's not singing, Mama," my three year old said. "Her telling a story."
"Oh really? Can you tell what she's saying?" I asked.
"Of course. She saying, 'There were monsters in the car everywhere. They were big scary monsters. But her knew we could get out. So I opened the door and...'"
"Was the car moving, Drew? Did we jump out of the car while it was moving?" my oldest asked as he slipped off his headphones.
"Yeah, we did," Drew continued. I saw a half smile creep onto his face. He knew he had a rapt audience. "We jumped and we ran and we ran. The monsters jumped out too, right Ro Ro?" He looked over to confirm with his baby sister.
"Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhh." Apparently she concurred.
"We ran SO FAST that those monsters couldn't find us anywhere."
"Wow! She is a great storyteller! She's flapping her arms now. What does that mean?" I asked.
"She say that the monsters DID find us so we flew into the sky where they couldn't ever get us ever."
"She's lucky to have a brother that can understand her so well," I told him.
"Yeah. Her lucky," he said as he stared out the window. Suddenly, he lifted his head and peered over at his sister. "I love you, Ro Ro."
His creativity and imagination are so alive. As he told the story, I could see the events playing out. I really began to believe that he understood what his sister was saying. Who knows, maybe he did.
There are so many times that I wish for quiet in the car. Time to think, time to plan, time to listen to the lyrics of a new song that I love or a story on NPR. But if I stop and listen, I get a window into their minds. I am able to live in their world for a small period of time. I will not remember that NPR story for longer than a week but I will never forget his animated storytelling and his sweet adoration of his sister. That, in the end, was a gift wrapped up for my heart.
When do your childrens' imaginations come to life? Be there for it this week and listen. Really listen.