I spent this evening in the company of my six year old nephew. He was here for a sleep-over which he's done many times before. Usually we play a game, make popcorn and watch a movie or two. This time I decided that we should try something different and I suggested we write a story together. Now, my nephew is a great storyteller (he's the inspiration for the book I'm struggling to write) so he thought this was a great idea.
We got into comfy clothes, sat down on the floor and began. I asked him to start the story and he did so with very little effort. Then I added a line or two and then back to him again. Sort of a call-and-response type of method. I wrote furiously, trying to keep up with all the ideas flying back and forth. After a bit, we finally agreed on an ending to the story and I sat down at the computer to type it out. He was quite impressed by this and by the fact that I would be printing copies out for him to take home. The one-page story, complete with pictures is titled "The Three Little Monkeys". And, I might add, it was his idea that we autograph each copy. This child thinks ahead! I believe he has plans to provide a copy to everyone on his street.
Afterward we moved ourselves to the porch to watch the full moon work it's way across the sky. We sat on blankets eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, popcorn and juice. My nephew is a talker and I sat there and really listened to him for a change. Really paid attention to what this little one had to say. What I discovered while I listened was not a child rambling on but a "person" with new ideas, new opinions, new hopes. And all of that stated with a confidence that was staggering. He made me laugh out loud and as I sit here typing I'm smiling as I remember something he said that tickled me.
Tonight was a good night. I co-wrote a lovely story, I had a picnic under the moon and I was given the opportunity to experience all of this through a child's eyes. We're already planning another story for the next time. My co-author insists that it will be a much longer story with more pictures. I'm very much looking forward to the next time.
Tonight's blog is also a thanks to a wonderful friend in Germany. His advice and inspiration were the foundation for the attempt at story-telling tonight. Be well Olaf :)