My daughter and I often read together at bedtime. Doesn’t everyone do this with their young children? It’s a great time to share of each other and cuddle and enjoy a good book to boot. When my girls were younger, I sang to them as well – not just “Rock-a-By-Baby” but songs like “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “My Funny Valentine.” I even made up a song for my oldest when she was a baby and would rock her to sleep with it.
My youngest daughter would ask me to make up stories, but not being a good fiction writer I usually stuck with real-life stories of my childhood. One night, though, I hit the jackpot. The story I made up was one to be repeated over and over. Since I wrote Cherry Blossoms, my daughter now thinks I should publish this bedtime story.
Have you ever made up a song or story for your kids? Have you written it down or otherwise recorded it? My dad cherishes the memory of his father telling him a made-up story about a rabbit. Your family might really enjoy reading your story or hearing that song you created, simple or silly as you might think it to be.
Author and mom Kim McDougall Chatel brought this idea to fruition. As she tells Mayra Calvani in an interview on Blogcritics, “One evening during a storm, my daughter couldn’t sleep. I started a game with her that would last for years. I gave her a dream. This funny story was something she could latch onto while she tried to sleep and I told her to finish it in her dreams.”
From this original bedtime story, Kim created an adorable children’s book called Rainbow Sheep, about a sad rainbow so cheered by a little shepherd girl that he cries colorful tears of joy that land on the sheep and turn them into rainbow shades. She also used her talents with fiber art to make little sheep “teased” out of wool which she then used to illustrate her book. Her daughter now has her bedtime story permanently captured along with the artistry of her mother. Now that is a family heirloom!