It was Sunday morning, 6:30am, all 3 of the kids were awake and piled into bed. They had been great thus far, slept in and well-behaved, but now they were awake and all three were ready to go.
“Daddy, can you tell us a story?” My 4-year-old asked.
“Sure buddy,” I told him, and off we went like we had (what seemed like) a thousand times before. A story about a princess, a troll, a trip to Costco, and 3 minutes later we were back where we started.
“Daddy, can you tell us another one?”
“I don’t have any more stories, Bossman”
“Please, one more, please?” He asked, staring at me with his big brown eyes.
That’s when lighting struck – my “AHA” moment: “Let me tell you a story about a young, handsome FBI agent named Johnny Utah.”
For the next few minutes I told them the very basic, short and child friendly, version of the movie Point Break. I kept true to the original story and included all the one-liners that make it one of my favorite movies. By the time I was done, they were so happy and enamored of the tale I’d told, their craving for story time was satisfied. They played for the next hour, taking turns being Johnny Utah and Bohdi. I was thrilled that I’d entertained the kids, and even more so, that I shared with them a movie that I loved growing up. I wrote and recorded it so that I would have it ready to play whenever the kids wanted a story, or for rides in the car. That was how “A Children’s Tale” was born.
I spent the next couple of months watching my favorite movies, transforming them into an interpretation suitable for children between ages 2 and 10. I figured, once my kids were actually old and mature enough to watch these films, they wouldn’t be interested in viewing something that was 20 to 30 years old. This enabled me to create something unique, that we could enjoy together, now… while they’re still young.
Now, whether we’re in the car, at bedtime, or doing showers/baths, the kids want to hear about the heroics of John McClane (Die Hard), or the giant shark story (Jaws), or even the baseball story with Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn (Major League). What I love most is that it’s so much more than “story time.” I get to spend time interacting with my kids, watching them get lost in the stories that I love, using their imaginations, and asking questions after each one. It is such a win-win for all of us.
I sent a few stories to friends and family (and even some of my favorite Twitter moms and dads), and the feedback was incredibly encouraging. It wasn’t just my goofy little family… other kids and their parents were enjoying these nostalgic adventures too.
Parents can access about an hour's-worth of free stories on my website www.dadfiction.net/childrenstale. I have a new featured story every week, and the free stories change weekly as well. Access to the entire story catalog is available for a very small monthly fee.
Ultimately, even if one child out there wants to listen to these stories in the car, rather than watching YouTube or Netflix on their iPad/tablet, then I’ll be thrilled to know I might have made a difference in the world, however small.