Storytime II: Big Brother Bliss! Beijing & Beyond!

My Favorite Image from China!

I love all the memories that this image brings to the fore in my heart! Actually this photo is of our son John and his son Joe (4) walking in the city streets of HongKong. It is similar to many moments I recall as the two of them walked around Beijing, or on the Great Wall, and at the huge train station where we boarded an 11 hour high speed (300+mph) train to Zhuhai on the southern China coast where Catherine’s parents and sister’s family live.

THIS is the image of two Master Storytellers on the move! Joe was always saying to his dad, “Tell me a story, Daddya!” And John would begin………. but that was ALL he had to do! for Joe would quickly be right in step with him, taking the story to peaks way beyond even where his Daddya could conceive. John, for example, might say (I’m making this one up because I can’t remember their complicated stories!) something like…”and then, and then! Bruce Wayne met Peter Parker for the first time…” Joe would excitedly interrupt! “No! No! he went to see Clark Kent first, since, since Batman and Superman were best friends!” Thus a Collaborative Adventure along the streets of China would begin! They could walk for hours!!!! Joe never got bored or tired as long as he was in the middle of a Super Story!

Another Image Etched in My Heart

Even waiting at intersections to cross safely or for a double-decker bus taxi, provided moments to reflect, recharge, and ruminate on their thickening plots! Joe’s default waiting position was to sit on his Daddy’s foot. Joe and John are definitely Avid Adventure Architects and their tales are so much taller than any of China’s tallest buildings! And believe me, we experienced quite the tall ones!

Superman WORKS OUT on THESE Buildings!

Joe brings so many experiences and images to the stories I read to him each of my evenings! He starts his day saying, “Mossy! Granddad! Read me a story!…..Read aNOTHER story!…” and so we do!

For those of you who ‘really know me’ and my quirky ways! You KNOW that it’s hard for me to do the same thing over and over, to follow a schedule, to follow a discipline. Though I DO have a strong belief about keeping my word to others and especially to others who are children. There have been nights (now, with daylight savings time, 8pm our time and 8 am on the China side of the world) when Alex and I have shared the time, especially when I was having coughing fits. Thankfully, I married the most disciplined, consistent man in the world!

Storybook Skyscraper

So stories march on! Night by night! And the more we do it, the more Joe loves it! We keep a pile of the books we’ve read, some more than once! And it is approaching becoming a tall ‘book building’ itself! Don’t get me wrong, he’s not just sitting starry-eyed gazing on just the pages of the book! He does that in ADDITION to multi-tasking. His days are full and he has much to do even if it is all inside! He’s working on his lego characters, or perfecting his sword moves or scrunching his brow to not miss a single image from the story across time zones, miles and wires. Even if it seems like he’s busy with something else, he’s taking it all in….and incorporating all into his amazing network of neurons!

These ‘book buildings’ are cropping up all over the place as other cousins get into these story adventures with Joe! Andrea and Nora could have read fed me more books to read if my voice hadn’t given out! When we are in Charlotte, spending time with Oliver (7) and Finley (4), we still get our call from Joe! Storytime spans the miles!

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