How do I set the stage? Well, first things first I suppose.
Have you done all of your chores? Teeth brushed and hair combed? Are you ready for bed? Were you a good girl today? Would you like a story? Ok, but, it has to be both good and something with a moral lest the Brothers Grimm haunt my sleep. Now, get comfortable and let me know when you are ready.
Once upon a time there was this Daddy who was a bit touched in the head, special if you will. He had quirks and idiosyncrasies just like everyone else. Among them was a love of language. He thought it a neat tool and believed that slight tweaks could produce better ways to see and understand the world, make things easier to remember or, in some cases, just be good fun. Oftentimes the impression these tweaks created left behind a whole new normal. His Girl counted on this for making bedtime fun. She loved a good story as she snuggled up and prepared to slip off for a night of dreamt merriment.
The stories were a gift for her, something new and special each time. They were each as unique as their relationship and each had it’s own meaning. It was rare indeed for them to repeat or share this special part of their day because it was part of their secret jovial way, a point of innocuous insider commentary. But he once found a desire to share one of his favorite gifts to her. It seemed useful on a larger stage for assorted reasons. With her permission, he set out to share one of their secret smiles. Maybe others would think on it and always be grateful for a chance to see the beauty around them. Only time would tell but first he had a story to tell so he set to task. Wondering how to best fulfill his end of the bargin made him look back over many encounters spanning many years.
He thought of a day once shared. It seemed no one they met that day was to be pleased, no one saw the beauty in the blessing that each new dawn is. It was a shame that left them both feeling a bit sad for the others. Later they were home, chores done and baths taken when they realized what time it was. Bedtime! Storytime! As they lay chatting, she asked if he knew why some folks didn’t put their hands on their cheeks in awe of the world around them a bit more often. A pained groaning ensued and he asked if he couldn’t just tell a story instead. The “Well, ok” from her signaled she was unsatisfied yet curious what ol’Daddy was thinking. Fluffing pillows, she laid back and gave him the “Go ahead” with a grin. With a breath he started the nights story.
“Once upon a time there was a small village set between field and wood. From the hills came a creek that met up with numerous springs on it’s way down. By the time it arrived to split the village in two it had grown large enough to require a small bridge for crossings. It was a nice enough village where nice enough people made their home. Truth be told it was like so many others here, there and everywhere. The same could apply to it’s citizens as they were, for the most part, admirable folks living life. It stood out for no real reason of product or people beyond one small, interesting boy.
Finn was born and raised in this bucolic world. Having the luck of parents slightly better off than most gave him a small edge. This luxury was compounded by their desire to see him get his hearts every desire. These things produced something unique in short order. The ordinary village populated by ordinary people was soon known for having Finn. This worked out to be very convenient because it would seem that no other village wanted one!
Trudging back through the streets after an idle morning of fishing he would hear the butcher calling out to enquire if he had caught any. “No, the water was to cold” would come a sullen reply. Offered a fresh cookie by the baker, he would take a bite and deem it too hot. When the neighbor lady offered tea he sipped and declared it too sweet. Arriving home he met his mother’s outstretched arms with a complaint that she shouldn’t expect him to walk over to where she was cooking.
“Oh Finn” each would sigh as he trudged away. Each tried to encourage him to take on responsibility, see beauty and consider others. Unfortunately the advice fell on deaf ears. This was his way every day and it only grew worse with time. Much as Levi’s became shorthand for all jeans, his sour attitude and self-centered manners became a local legend. For better or worse, it only grew and grew. Soon enough, any person whining about house or holding there would quickly hear an “Oh Finn” and laughter. Sadly, he never saw the irony in the words nor the joy in life.
By the time he died his was a grumpy, miserable life. The life stood in a strange sort of contrast to his popularity. No one wanted to be like that and yet, at times, we all are. We each forget to smile, we each get “Oh-Finn-ed” in ways far too small. The world would be better had we no need for the modernization “Offended”. Think of those people today. They were so busy being “offended” that they voluntarily gave up the beauty around them.”
“Get it Girl?”
“Ready for bed?”
“Don’t get offended tomorrow, ok Girl?”
“Love you Girl”
“Love you to Daddy”
“Good night Girl”
“Good night Daddy”
Now, for you, it’s late and you need your sleep. Sleep well and, come tomorrow, live well lest you be like Finn. You don’t want that do you?