Just after Ms. Ava turned 4, she came up with a new bedtime request. Every night for her entire life, we read books before bed. Suddenly one night, that wasn’t enough for her, after books she requested a bedtime story. So, naturally, Chris (daddio) made-up a story for her. “No daddy, I want a REAL story, tell me a story about you and mom.” And right then and there, it all started. Now, just about every night, we each tell them at least one story of our past, if not two or three. As you can imagine, at this point … 3 years later … we are running out of stories. We usually have to ask for a subject these days, to get some inspiration … so, we’ve either told too many stories or we’re just getting old! We repeat a lot of stories as well, when they hear one they like, we get frequent requests for it .
I thought I would share the two most frequently requested stories.
“Tell us about the time that Matt made you go and talk to mommy and something happened to the cash register!!” Ava says. We usually say, “Again? Okay … ”
Chris: Well, I thought your mommy was really cute when we were in high school. The entire football team knew that I liked her. My best friend, Matt, kept pushing me to ask her out. He used to try to look up her phone number in the phone book and make me call her, but we could never find it. One day, he and I, went to the school store at our high school, because your mommy was working at the cash register. He made me go in and buy something and I was going to ask her to go to a dance with me. I couldn’t find anything to buy, so I grabbed a pencil. I stood at the register afraid to say anything while your mom started to ring up the pencil. As I was about to ask her, something went wrong and the register starting beeping, and all of a sudden three more people ran into the room to help with the register. So, I just paid for my pencil and left and never asked her out.
The second story is not quite as fun to remember, but for whatever reason, the kids love it.
Me: When daddy and I were in college we lived in Florida for a few years. One time, we went back to Wisconsin for spring break. A week later when we got back to our apartment, we were surprised to find our front door unlocked and open. I walked back to the car to call the police, and your brave daddy went inside to check it out. Someone had broken into our apartment and taken most of our furniture, our computer, and a few other small things. The police came and talked to us about what happened and did an investigation. The thieves took our couches, so we didn’t have anywhere to sit for our last semester in college. A few days later, we were in the living room when we saw this kid riding back and forth really slow on his bike looking into our apartment. We realized he was wearing daddy’s Oshkosh West baseball hat, which was one of the things we were missing from the apartment. Daddy got on his bike and tried to chase him down but he never found him. But, after that we were just fine, we lived without furniture our last few months and now it’s part of our story.
For us, this request for the ‘stories of us’ has been, and continues to be, an awesome trip down memory lane. Some of the stories are good and some are bad, but we use the bad ones as lessons, because as we all know life is not always perfect. Most of the time, one of us will tell a story, and it’s something we both remember and it makes us smile. And sometimes, one of us will tell a story that the other never knew, or doesn’t remember, and we’re able to flash back to the times that made us, “US.” Often times, we both remember the same stories but have a different perspective on what happened, especially the stories that are from early in our relationship. It is so fun to hear each others version of what happened and relive those feelings all over again.
I believe we’ll always be young and in love, but Ava’s demand of stories on a daily basis, has certainly allowed us to remember things we may have not remembered if we had waited 20 years to share them. So, take the time to tell your kids about you. All of it, the good and the bad, you’ll be amazed at the little lessons they pull from what you tell them.