12 September 2011
September Snapshot: The Storyteller
This is a picture of my then three year old daughter during early morning play. I took this same image over and over again through the years. We used film then. A single shot, results days if not weeks later. When I saw this one, I remember calling it "the storyteller." There she was, little sleepy-fine-curly-girl hair and pink rosebud thermal pajamas, snuggled up in my unmade bed, she lined up her babies and read them a story. She knew her books by heart so it didn't even matter if the book was turned upside down.She would tell that story with voices, inflections and sounds.
I thought then that she would be a teacher or somehow part of whatever she would eventually chose. I was afraid to tell her that for fear of influencing her. It is so easy for a child to uptake a truth and follow it, without it being the truth. Turns out, the story in that picture does seem to be her truth. My husband has two grown daughters and says that he can look at them today and see the same toddler they once were. It seems it may be true for my daughter as well.
Allie was always such a mother hen. She would come in from first grade and tell me with great concern and dismay that so and so's mother needs to send her to school in a coat. Some might call that maternal, others may see that as a leadership quality. Frankly she might be bossy, but she always looks for improvement that allows the best environment for learning, play or spirit to occur.
I suppose if I could go back and get a few minutes with my daughter as a little girl, it might just be this particular morning she was reading to her "kids." I would take her up, put my nose right into the back of her neck and squeeze those little fleshy thighs right through the waffle weave of those rosebud PJ's. I would swing her around and hold her tight. She would throw her mouth open, her head back and laugh. Except for much more mature straightened hair and a floral skirt, she still is that same spirit, surrounding herself with little kids at her after school job, reading to them, telling them a story, no doubt checking their work. Maybe even sending a note home to a mother about the chill in the air and the need for a good jacket. Running, throwing her head back, mouth open, laughing.