Thursday, July 10, 2008

Involving Your Listeners


When Mike opened the front door Callie and Macy scrambled over to greet us. (Pant like a doggie.)

We entered and stepped carefully across the living room to find a spot at the kitchen table. Kenz and I were at Uncle Mi Mi's to eat, even though Mike and Jodi had finished their dinner earlier.

I watched Kenz open the crispy white bag she had carried in all by herself. Slowly she lifted the warm container of Sweet and Sour Chicken. (Waft the air with your hand, can you smell the green pepper and pineapple?) When she popped off the lid, Callie and Macy immediately got an intense whiff of the tangy juicy fowl, yipped and yiped, then danced wildly at our dangling feet. Annoyed by their behavior, Mike gently picked up Macy and escorted both his dogs out to the yard. (Cup your ear. Did you hear the screen door squeak when Mike came back in?)

Then in the quiet of the room, Kenz saw her chance to proceed with her announcement.
"Look at my space," she said loudly, opening her mouth as wide as the Grand Canyon.

Jodi and Mike zoomed in close to Kenz's face and gazed into her oral cavity. (Look into a huge hole.)

"Oh my gosh, you lost your tooth!" Jodi exclaimed in delight.

"My teacher Sarah pulled it out," she said as she pinched her fingers together to open the plastic wrapped silverware. "Don't worry, I didn't lose it. Nana has it in her purse. Give it to me Nana."

I dug deep into my big black purse and pulled out a small Ziploc bag. Tucked safely in the corner was the teeny tiny white incisor. It looked much smaller than it had in Kenzie's mouth.

Is it all there? Mike asked. "It's so little."

"Yup,"said Kenz, that's my whole tooth. It didn't even bleed when it came out and it didn't even hurt. And my grown-up tooth is already growing," she said, reopening her mouth. "It has little ripples on it." (Try to say little ripples with your mouth wide open.)

"We can't stay long, we have to eat and run," I said. We are off to the library. They are having a program tonight. It's about storytelling."

Are you sure you want to go out tonight, Mom?" Mike asked. "Do you know they are predicting a huge storm? By the time you leave the library it might be raining hard. You could get caught in downpour and have to pull over. There might be lots of lightning." (Look into the sky with a worried look, maybe an excited-worried look.)

"We'll just have to take that chance," I said. We don't want to miss the storyteller. She came all the way from Denver to do a workshop on using storytelling to enrich your life. Her name is Susan Kaplan."

We finished our Japanese take-out, said good-bye and walked out into the saucy grey evening. Tall Thunderheads, skyscrapers of black moisture sat still and quiet, low in the sky, waiting to burst buckets of cats and dogs. We quickly strapped our seat belts across our belly's, which were full of chicken and brown rice. ( Try doing it fast. Buckle a seat belt around your big full tummy.)

I was also feeling full of gratitude for the visit with my son and his wife. How nice that we could celebrate with Kenz, the event of the first 'lost' tooth. I thought about my grandson who is coming in September. In about six years the baby boy in Jodi's belly will be loosing his first tooth. Maybe this evening he was glad for Kenz, too! (Be a baby inside a mommy. Smile)

"The storyteller time is going to be so much fun," Kenz said flashing her brand new spacey smile.
And guess what? She was.

Susan Kaplan, MSW
Storyteller and Story Listener
(303) 871-8469

Storytelling is the art of sharing story and inviting listeners into the story. Story listening is the art of listening to story and creating connections with the story (i.e. universal themes, character's, etc.) and with the community of listeners.

1 comment:

Angeline said...

yes x1000 to that last few sentences.

if you had read my post "worst day as a Child Care Centre teacher", you would know that I am the storyteller for the entire centre...and I make sure every kids is not just listening, but INTO the story itself...*laugh* that was so much fun then!

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