The Storyteller (March 2020, Week 2 Day 3)
“Tell my a story?”
“Me, baby. Tell me a story.”
“Tell ME a story?”
Crystal closed her eyes. “Baby, I’m all out of stories.”
“No, mama.” Krissy pulled herself up onto the tall chair across from Crystal, her short limbs dangling for a moment before finding purchase on the railing. “You has one more story.”
“You HAVE one more story. You always has – have one more story.”
Crystal looked at her daughter sitting on her own chair across from her, with tousled hair and smudges on her cheeks. She thought about all the stories she’d had to slog through at work, each one worse than the one before it. She thought about the mamas she’d left who wouldn’t be telling any stories to their babies anytime soon. “Once upon a time,”
Krissy’s face exploded into a smile that crinkled the smudges on her cheeks. “Yay! I like once upon the time stories!”
“A time, baby. Once upon A time. Let me clean you up and get you ready for bed, then I’ll tell you your story.”
Krissy scrambled down the chair and padded off to the bathroom. Crystal cracked her neck, first right, then left, and got up to oversee the clean up. Their apartment was small enough that nothing was ever too far away and large enough for Crystal to be able to have privacy after bedtime. They had moved in earlier that year and she was still working on making it feel like home.
“I brushed my teeth, mama.” Krissy waved her wet and foamy toothbrush around as proof of her words.
“And I’ma brush them once more. You know I need to do my part.”
“Yes, Mama. Aaaaaah.” Krissy opened her mouth and thrust the toothbrush into Crystal’s hand.
Bedtime was their time. No matter how crazy things got at work Crystal made sure she was always home for bedtime. Brushing those little teeth and scrubbing Krissy’s chubby cheeks before helping her into pajamas and tucking her in were the highlights of Crystal’s day.
It took some back and forth to get Krissy into the right pajamas for the evening and to have all the right stuffed animals surrounding her pillow and to have the right nightlights on. As Crystal eased herself down onto Krissy’s bed it was all she could do to keep from climbing in alongside her daughter and falling asleep.
“I’m ready for my story.”
“Of course you are.” Crystal leaned back on the wall and let her eyes close.
“Mama, don’t fall asleep!”
Crystal opened her eyes and smiled. “I’m not sleeping, baby. I need to close my eyes to see the pictures.”
“Can I see the pictures?”
“If you close your eyes you just might.”
Krissy snuggled herself down deeper under the covers until only her chin peeked out. “Ok mama, I’m ready. You close your eyes and I’ll close mine.”
Crystal let her eyes flutter shut and started the story again. “Once upon a time,”