I’ve been in a mood all day – not a good one and no real reason for it, at least nothing that wasn’t around yesterday. By evening I was as wound up as…as a muppet (and Jack Black!), one trigger word away from flipping out…
… so I stepped out for a bit. Ended up at my sister’s where I hung with one of my little nephews for a while, the worst of the mood sloughing off between one thing he was excited to show me and the next.
Eventually, I had to be the responsible grown up and remind him that it was bed time. I asked if he wanted a story before I left and he said, “yes, the one you wrote for me”. That request brought a smile to my face. This had never happened before.
The story is a bedtime story in verse. I wrote it a few years ago after a conversation with him where I just let his imagination – and he has a very poetic imagination – take the lead. The story was in part inspired by his mom’s complaints about how hyper he can be at bedtime – like now. I wrote it for him, and, in a sense, about him, his imaginative leaps, and their bedtime ritual. And after having it printed on coloured hard paper with art work – well a writer’s version of art work, laminated it and gifted it to him. Needless to say like any 5 or so year old more interested in remote controlled cars and the Flash, he was unimpressed.
But this boy-hulk who has destroyed many toys since then somehow still had the laminated story posed up on a stand at his bedside. Go figure. I picked it up, oddly nervous. He settled in bed. And I read, hoping to get the rhythm right so it would come alive for him and at the same time lull him to sleep.
As I read, I felt happier than I’d felt all day, all week. It was a fulfilling moment as a writer and an aunt…a writing aunt…this exactly was the reason why the story had been written. This moment.
I was happy that he had come to appreciate the gift and him letting me read it to him felt like a gift to me.
Now that I’ve entered the children’s picture book market, this is one of the stories I hope will some day bring joy and sleepiness to other children. I mean, not this particular too-hyper child, he was still up though he was pretending not to be, but still, it made me happy. What can I say writers – and aunts – are easy.