I often make a trip or two up the stairs after bedtime to get after Caleb and Dallin for being so noisy and to tell them to please, go to sleep! They talk loudly, they laugh, they yell, they make other noises. What is going on up there? Today those two gave me a glimpse into what it is they're talking about so late into the night.
They tell stories. Intricate, highly-imaginative stories.
We were sitting at dinner tonight and Caleb suddenly said to Dallin, "Hey remember, (in a funny voice) 'Lettuce. Try saying lettuce..." And then he busted up laughing. Dallin giggled, repeated the phrase in his own funny voice, then giggled. Mitch and I looked at each other like, I have no idea what these kids are talking about. Maybe Caleb saw our look because he began to tell me this story about a man who loved lettuce, an alien and his particular way of speaking, some spacemen, a gold mine, big scary guys, a giant robot whose head extended into space, pockets full of gold nuggets, and some sneaky tricks. They talked excitedly, interrupting each other to describe a scene, reminding each other of parts they left out, quoting lines of dialog, and laughing at the funny parts. At one point Caleb stopped telling from the point of view of the protagonist, and began telling the story in first person. They went on like this for half an hour. I admit I got a little muddled with the story line. But the point is...they lived this story. It was crystal clear in their minds. It was a story they had experienced.
When did I lose that? When did I let go of the ability to lose myself in a world of "what-ifs", uninhibited? The imagination is an amazing thing. A gift that, if left on the shelf for too long, can get a little dusty. Tonight my boys have made me want to take it down and dust it off. So maybe I will.