My best friend and I entertained each other by telling impromptu stories when we were kids. I remember with a mix of nostalgia and curiosity the numerous afternoons we spent crafting stories that starred grown-up versions of ourselves in surreal situations. It was an exciting challenge to keep the story going, as she and I alternated five-minute turns until we lost interest or it was time for us to part ways. I loved the challenge of building on story threads that Monica set-up and adding interesting twists for her to build on by the end of my five minutes. Those afternoons provided a freeing and imaginative way to cap days that were otherwise dedicated to academic pursuits over which we had little autonomy.
I see a similar gift for storytelling in my eleven-year-old son who writes about fantastic worlds that he's created for his sprawling Lego designs and various action figures. He usually records story ideas on scattered pages that float around the house until he tucks them away in shoeboxes on his bookcase. I recently bought him a leather-bound journal so he can record his ideas with greater organization and pride. He keeps this journal close at hand so he can readily jot down inspiring thoughts and share them with me. I can’t wait to see how his stories develop. I am sure we will have even more to talk about; we may even take turns.