Do You Remember that Dumb, Little Bedtime Story You Made Up for Your Child? Well, they do, and it may have impacted them more than you know.

“Daddy, tell me a spider story. Please?”
It wasn’t the first or even the last time I had made this request. I guess my wide eyes and the pleading tone in my voice won him over, because my dad’s hand came up with fingers bent to form a spidery shape, and slowly it descended over my head.
Amid giggles, the hand-spider landed on the pillow and began to spin its tale. I will admit, I don’t remember every detail of every story, but I remember loving them. It was quality time with my dad, and it helped cultivate my imagination. My mother also contributed with her own stories. I don’t know if she remembers all the times I begged her for a story about Bunnita, the magical little rabbit that shared adventures with my mother as a little girl.
My parents read stories to me from books as well, but as much as I enjoyed the books, the stories that came straight from their imaginations have stuck with me the longest. They have impacted my entire life. It wasn’t so much what they were about. In fact, that almost didn’t matter. What mattered was that they made them for me.

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Parents may feel they aren’t adequate enough to make up a good story, but they are. Even if worst comes to worst and the story stinks, it still makes a difference. I learned this the hard way.
I often got to babysit for a family in my neighborhood when I was in high school, and I would resort to telling stories to entertain the children. They were the worst stories ever. Seriously, half of them had no plot whatsoever. I don’t think any of them really made much sense, but every time I babysat, I would get talked into telling at least one “Baron BomBooboo” story. So I would patch together some monstrosity where the cowardly, bumbling Baron BomBooboo would face off against the brave, dashing Sir Nicholas. Sir Nicholas would defeat Baron BomBooboo in the most slapstick way possible, save the princess and live happily ever after.
Well, it wasn’t until this had been going on for a while that I found out their parents had been subjected to a retelling of these stories the morning after I was there. Needless to say, I was a bit embarrassed. I often wondered why they ever asked me to return.
Whether they are as ridiculous as Baron BomBooboo, or as charming as Bunnita and Mr. Spider, stories are cherished and remembered. I guess you could say my parents brought me up on stories. It is little wonder I have taken to creating my own. Their small act of love opened new worlds for me—worlds I now want to share with my own children and anybody else who will listen or read. So thanks, Mom and Dad. Thanks for the stories. They meant the world—or rather worlds—to me.

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