Every night stories are part of our bedtime ritual. I read Owen a book or two and then put him to bed first. Next, Liam and I read two books and he gets into bed. Before I kiss him goodnight he always asks for me to tell him a story. Sometimes I tell him fairy tales, sometimes I make stories completely up, and those stories always feature a little boy named "Liam". When I tell "Liam stories" he's always the main character and I let Liam fill in blanks in the story so he's part of the narrative. I figured that this was a cute thing to do at bedtime; a ritual that he'd remember when he was older and look back upon happily. Last night, however, Liam said something during our story time that made my heart melt. Here's how it went:
Me: Once upon a time there was a little boy named Liam who was traveling through the desert. One day Liam saw a golden lamp in the sand. He picked it up, rubbed it and what do you think popped out?
Liam: A genie!
Me: That's right, a genie. The genie said "Master, I will grant you three wishes. What is your command?" So what did Liam wish for?
Liam: I would wish for a family!
Me: Okay. The genie said "Your wish is my command" and poof! There was a mommy and a daddy and a little brother to be Liam's family. The genie said "What is your second wish, master?" So what did Liam wish for?
Liam: I wish for a bed!
Me: The genie said "Your wish is my command" and poof! There was a giant comfy bed that the whole family could sleep in. They all laid down and took a nice long nap on their new bed. When they woke up the genie said "What is your third and final wish, master?" So what did Liam wish for?
Liam: A house with all our stuff!
Me: The genie said "Your wish is my command" and poof! Liam and his family and their new bed were transported here, to Arkansas, on our very street, where they found a house just for them! They moved into the house and lived there happily ever after. The End.
We hugged and kissed and I wished him a good night's sleep. A little while later I related the story to my husband, and he said that it was very cute. I agreed, and then it hit me. Liam could have made up anything he wanted. He could have wished for anything in the whole world. I totally expected his wishes to be something like "I wish for a million pieces of candy" or something in that general direction. But, he didn't. Liam basically said that if he could wish for anything in the world, he would wish to have exactly what he has already. He wished for a family to love him, a warm bed to sleep in, and a house to call home. He has everything he would wish for, and the knowledge that my baby is completely content with what he has, with his life, made me so happy. I was inspired by my four year old, and as this holiday season approaches I hope we all can take a leaf out of his book. Now is a time for reflection on the past year and contemplation of all the blessings we have to be thankful for.
I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to top that at bedtime tonight, but I'm sure together we can both think of something.