Every few nights, when Caroline has settled into bed on time, the lights are out, the songs are sung and I’m not in a rush, I’ll ask, “story?“ C always says yes (anything to keep from going to sleep), and so I tuck her in, stretch out on the floor beside the bed and tell a tale.
Every story starts the same way: “Once upon a time, maybe yesterday, Oof, Arf and Ruff decided to go find their friend Caroline.“
Because she’s still so little, we don’t go far in these stories. Usually the three dogs (Oof, Arf and Ruff are talking dogs, naturally) will meet up with C at the park, or if it's rainy they’ll visit somewhere close by that Caroline knows well. Today they went to the big church a few blocks away, to see if they could hear any bells playing. There they heard a baby crying, and Oof with his ears, Arf with his nose and Ruff standing up as tall as he could stand, found a little one-year-old lost and crying beside the organ. Caroline stepped in to cheer up the baby and hold his hand to guide him back to his mother, who was just around the corner.
Any lines that C has in her story, she likes to say back to me, and when we finish she’ll briefly review our tale. “Baby,“ she said tonight, “Come on, okay, here’s Mommie. Thank you, bye bye.“
Dining out for Life
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