MY WIFE OF OVER 30 YEARS IS ASIAN.
I am not. So, during long family dinners, while everyone else was speaking in Cantonese, my daughter, Quina and I, were left on our own to entertain each other. This is probably one of the many reasons why we are so bonded to this day, many years later.
That was when I began telling her stories I created on the spot. Sometimes, the stories were inspired by something in the restaurant and other times just out of my warped brain.
I remember one story about magic flowers that only stood tall and bloomed when no one was watching. Otherwise, they appeared flat like in a painting. At the end of the story, I asked Quina if she wanted to see the flowers and she nodded excitedly. I told her to look down at the carpet and she noticed, for the first time, that it was covered by thousands of colorful, beautiful flowers!. She kept peeking at the carpet the rest of the night, hoping she would catch them blooming.
Storytelling became our family thing. Quina soon gathered her favorites and I had to tell her (exactly the same way) on long car rides, in planes and to her friends. I didn’t mind because this was something special we shared. I hope that, someday, she will tell her children those stories and many more of her own.
The world, it seems, has forgotten how to tell stories to their children. Sure, we read them occasionally at bedtime, but, mostly, it seems we now rely on DVDs, iPADs, cell phone games to entertain our children which also disconnects them from the real world around them. What happened to interaction, social development, language skills and, most important, imagination? They have all been replaced by technology! When was the last time you actually memorized a phone number?
So, I embarked on a mission – to develop a storytelling box that would inspire parents to share special moments.
From that idea grew more box themes, each one with the same goal; excite the interest of children by nurturing quality family time and, just maybe, teach them something along the way.