20 January 2009

Through a child's eyes

This morning, as most mornings, Nora came to join us in bed before we all got up to start the day. (Mairi slept in, as she usually does; Dorothy was already with us.) Nora asked me to tell her a "princess story" — I make up stories for the girls which start, "Once upon a time there was a king and a queen who lived in a castle with their three daughters, the Big Princess, the Middle Princess and the Baby Princess. ..." It's one of the ways we deal with problems, by imagining what the princesses would do. In these stories, everyone is a prince or princess — unless they are a king or a queen, or a fairy or a dragon ... you get the idea. :-)

Well, this morning I said, "Today I have a story about a prince for you." And I proceeded to tell her this story:
Once upon a time there were a king and a queen who had a little boy. When this prince was quite little, his father the king went away but his mother the queen, and her mother and father, the prince's grandma and grandpa, loved and took care of the prince.

The prince grew to be a man and decided he would like to serve the people he lived with, but when he first asked them they said, "No thank you." The prince didn't give up though, and the next time he asked them, the people said, "Okay, you can try." And after a while, the prince decided he would like to serve even more people, and again the people said okay.

Finally, the prince decided he would like to serve all the people who lived in his country. He asked them, and after a lot of talking and thinking, enough people said yes. And today he will become president, to serve all the people in our country, and his name is Barack Obama.
When I finished the story Nora looked at me, wide-eyed, and said, "And now he's going to be president?" I said yes, at which she hugged me. She then lay back and said, "And someday, I could be president?" Chris and I assured her that yes, she could if she wanted to.

At which point, Nora looked thoughtful and declared:

"My teeth itch."

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