Spec Fic Parenting: “Tell me a story”

In my estimation, it isn’t enough just to expose my children to the hidden wonder of a strong imagination. Oh no, one must exercise it. And while children by their very nature have strong imaginations, proper cultivation is the difference between a small gourd and one of those state fair super pumpkins in this hideously overdrawn analogy. So, I often ask my older son to tell me stories as well.

Son: Up in the sky, there is a pony, but he’s going to Puppetland.

Me: What is he going to do there?

Son: He’s going there to sleep. The Tooth Fairy is there, too.

Me: Up in the sky?

Son: Yeah! She lives in a castle up there.

Me: Aren’t there giants up there?

Son: Yeah, but she scared them all off into the woods, where they have to hide.

Me: Why do they have to hide?

Son: Because the trees bite them.

Me: Wow, sounds dangerous up there.

Son: Yeah. The giants want to eat the fairy.

Me: Eat her?

Son: Yeah, but she wants to eat them too. And there are dragons too!

Me: Dragons, eh? What do they eat?

Son: Fairies and giants.

Me: Geez, guess I’d better stay out of the sky.

Son: Yeah.

Now granted, I am sure this is much cuter to me than to others (the whole “Your kids are cute to you, and snotty rugrats to others” thing), but it does get at a point, which is that kids have amazing imaginations. This, honestly, kind of disturbs me as a fact. Not that they have such amazing imaginations, but that adult imaginations typically pale to theirs. I remember when I was a kid (hey, it wasn’t that long ago), I could raid an giant multilevel castle and ride across an entire kingdom in my backyard without a single prop.

So, the reason this kind for exercise is to try and keep that for as long as possible. I probably got to keep my imagination well trained for bad reasons (typical nerd in school sob story), and I don’t want my son to have that same issue. Granted, I might be self-fulfilling by cultivating said creativity, but I’d like to think I’m not.

So yeah, maybe it isn’t exactly AxeCop, but I am still amazed, seeing as I have no clue where he pulled all of those concepts from or how he decided to string them together. So, my fellow Spec Fic Parents, what stories have your children told you?

Richard Fife is a writer, blogger, and now arborphobic. You can read more of his ramblings and some of his short fiction, including his new steampunk serial The Tijervyn Chronicles (starting this friday) at his website.


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