The Stories of our Lives

It all started with Harold & the Purple Crayon.

My youngest and I read the story together

in front of a blazing fire and he said

he wanted to have this book in his collection

someday when he grows up and moves out.

I told him he would need his own copy

because there are some books I will always

need to have on my bookshelf

for grandkids or Nostalgia. I will always need

Narnia prominently displayed, and Winnie the Pooh,

and Harry Potter. I will always need Dr. Seuss

and Richard Scarry. We started listing out favorites,

and I told him the stories of certain books

I’d grown up with, that when I had kids, I knew

we would need, and how I searched for them,

and found they were out of print,

and paid large sums to secure them.

And that turned into the relating of certain stories

of our lives that we could hear over and over

again on nights like tonight, when we sit snuggled

in front of a fireplace, reminiscing and remembering

our fondest times. “Tell us again about the time you…”

and we all hunker down to hear all the parts

we know by heart, but want to hear anyway because

the telling and the hearing and the holding on tight

to the edge of the sheets, if it’s scary, or the sitting

on the edge of our seats, if it’s suspenseful, are a part

of us. We know how it ends, we know every line

and the punchline or the resolution, but we are

tied up in the story of it, and the cadence or the

song and meter of it. The stories that bind our world

together and give it a foundation and a soft place

to land, or a sure place to come home to. The stories

of how mom and dad met, or the day we were born,

and all the adventure around who we are

in our family, and what we mean to our loved ones.

The tapestry created by all our stories combining,

and holding hands, and making us poetry

that moves and breathes and scribbles its own

heart’s longing onto the page with Harold – little

orange crayon marks that tell the wistfulness

of one of my own children dreaming of creating

new worlds of imagination

right alongside this little toddler hero.

Photo from here

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