Friday, August 10, 2007

The Most Exciting Job

Yesterday we ended up having an impromptou party on the lawn. Friends down the street brought cookies and joined us for lemonade, much to the delight of my kids.

As we sat under a tree together, three-year old Adalyn announced that her daddy had a very boring job. Wondering what a three-year old classifies as boring, I asked what her daddy does at work. "He makes movies," she said with a sigh. Holy cow, sounds pretty exciting to me!

That made me wonder what on earth she thought classified as an exciting job, if making movies was "very boring." So I asked. Her eyes lit up as she replied without hesitation, "Being a mommy is a VERY exciting job!"

I spent the rest of the day looking quite differently at my "VERY exciting job."

A Story of Mommies and Daddies

This morning Grace explained a great, fundamental, four-year old truth to me, in such earnestness that it positively charmed my socks off:

"If a girl has stories in her life, the mommy tells pretty stories. That's what mommies do. Daddies tell stinky stories."

I'm assuming this is because Daddy's latest bedtime effort is about a beautiful princess who accidentally poops in her panties, much to the hilarity of our junior princesses. But I think Grace is onto something.

We all need stories. We live on stories, our own and so many others. We desparately need pretty stories, so we don't lose sight of hope, so we can be reminded of a better, finer side of life. We need pretty stories to offset some of the ugly realities that surround us.

But you know, we also need stinky stories. We need stories that deal with some of the messy, yucky parts of life and make them bearable--maybe even laughable. We need stories that give us back our power over the darker, less predictable parts of life by consigning them to non-threatening places with humor. We need stinky stories to poke little pinpricks in our sophisticated human egos, and remind us that we are, after all, human.

I think Grace is absolutely right. Every girl should have stories in her life--and someone to tell her the pretty ones and the stinky ones.