Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Magic of the Bedtime Story

Bedtime StoriesMany of us have fond memories of childhood and the bedtime stories that often ensued once we were cozily nestled underneath the covers. The magic that happened at bedtime was often our first introduction to literacy, and one of the defining moments that fueled our interest in the world and all the adventures yet to be had.

The Magic of Routine
One of the sweetest and most satisfying aspects of bedtime was knowing that there was always an interesting and exciting story to send us off into sleepy land. Although none of us really wanted to go to bed, we were always excited about the prospect of another bedtime story adventure that would be unveiled if we submitted to the necessity of bedtime. Bedtime was never put on a pedestal, but we knew that bedtime was the only ticket to the coveted bedtime story.

The Adventure
Bedtime stories were always fun because each one had an inherent adventure and dilemma tucked neatly into the story line. Would Jack ever make it back down the beanstalk without being caught? Would Little Red be spared from the Big Bad Wolf? Would Elizabeth ever find those regulation cornhole boards she secretly borrowed from her mom? We were all on the edge of our seats waiting to hear what the outcome would be as each character battled their nemesis for survival or some other hidden or obvious treasure. These stories taught the love of the unexpected and the need to embrace courage and face problems in order to overcome them.

281/365 Bedtime StoryLove from the Storyteller
Although the storyteller was not the obvious heroine or hero of bedtime, they were, in an unspoken way. They were the bearers of the stories. We learned to appreciate them just as much as the adventures they unfolded every night. We knew that it was love that fueled their desires to enrich our lives with the stories and adventures of others, both fiction and nonfiction. We loved them for loving us enough to tell the stories in such provocative and entertaining ways. Often, these people were our very own moms and dads, or grandmas and grandpas, and the love was often twofold because they did so much more for us than tell bedtime stories.

The telling of bedtime stories has been a well-known tradition for many years. Many children have looked forward to the telling of some exciting adventure or dilemma faced by a character in a bedtime story. This ritual has often been the first taste of literacy that a child experiences, and it is often one of the tools to help encourage bravery and problem-solving.