“Daddy, read to us! It’s story time!”
It was our nighttime routine- PJs on, teeth brushed, curled on the living room couches under blankets waiting for Dad to find his glasses and pick up where we left off last night.
My dad read bedtime stories to us every day of my childhood, right through my teenage years until I moved out of the house. We entered Narnia together at least twice, and to this day I think of Aslan as having my dad’s voice. We journeyed through middle Earth and navigated Hogwarts’ dark corridors. We swung from trees with the Swiss Family Robinson and discovered that my dad is capable of falling asleep while reading aloud (a truly remarkable talent).
I come by my love of story honestly, and it started young.
After story time, we would stumble sleepily into our beds and dad would come and tuck us in.
“What do you want to sing tonight?” he’d ask. We’d sing a song or two together, then he’d pray over me, kiss my forehead, and turn off the light before moving on to my brothers’ room.
My brothers both fell in love with music, learned to love singing and song from our nighttime rituals. But me? I fell in love with stories.
I learned what love is (and what it isn’t) with Jo March and discovered the beauty in the world with Mary in the Secret Garden. I followed Jane Eyre through hard work and heartbreak and found mercy and love in the pages of Edward Tulane.
Stories have given me words to know that I am not alone and wisdom to face that which I have not yet known.
My favorite part of my job as a teacher is telling stories. I love to captivate an energetic audience with a story well told. I have little friends at church and at school who see me and run up and ask for a story, and I love that they know. I love that they know that I will always have a story to tell, because this world is full of beautiful stories.
I tell true stories, mostly, because they’re all around. I tell about my silly cat or a sweet friend who took care of me well. I tell about mundane moments because the world is more beautiful if we stop to claim the beauty. Telling stories is how I notice the beauty in the world.
And friends, the world is full of beauty, because the world is full of stories. Let’s tell the good ones.
This post is part of my 31 days of Love Letters series. Click here to see the rest of the posts in the series.