One night last summer I told Nate a bedtime story about two brothers – Tom and Joe. He likely didn’t notice, but the story bore a strong resemblance to the busy day we’d all had, which included taking the ferry over to Toronto Island. The main difference is that they two brothers in the story were on a search for a buried treasure, and not with their parents. That same night, I told Brendan the same story (they go to sleep at separate times so it was brand new to him). That night, the “Tom & Joe” series of stories was born.
Almost every night since, the husband and I have been
forced requested by Brendan to “tell a story about Tom and Joe”. In the early days, we would make it up based on a recent activity, like going to the zoo or the park. Some of the best stories were based on the weekend when we rented a small cottage that was right on a beach and the boys spent two days playing in the sand and catching frogs. We all spent a lot of time outside last summer, so had a lot of material to draw from, and our stories were always a hit. When we’re asked to repeat a specific story, that’s where it gets tricky. Nothing has been written down, and there are many nights when I have to guess the details of a story that Daddy had told the night before. Other times, Brendan will request that the story contain very specific details – like “Tom and Joe playing with power guys in the deep, dark woods”. [Definition: Power Guys – action figures. Specifically old He-Man action figures that were purchased on eBay long before we had kids.] Also, the reference to the “deep, dark woods” is from my new favourite kid’s show – Peep and the Big Wide World.
We’ve recently toyed with the idea of writing down a few of the popular stories, possibly even getting some books printed with the stories. The more I think about it, the better I like the idea.
In fact, as soon as I get my butt in gear, I’m going to do it. A tangible piece of evidence of the stories we shared would be a fantastic keepsake. Something I can read to the boys over and over again; something that we can look at years from now that offers a small glimpse into the kind of boys they were, and the types of things they enjoyed.