I would crawl up on her bed, my little 10 year old self. She would be folding clean towels. I would watch her and memorize her every movement. I loved these moments in the middle of the day or the evening hours before bedtime. No one else around, I could have my mom all to myself and just talk. We would talk about anything and everything. Literally everything. She was my sounding board for all the many thoughts that perused my mind and it would all come out at these moments. It was then in those moments that she would say, “I completely understand. When I was young…” and she would launch off into a story from her life. She is an amazing story-teller. Sometimes the stories were quite amusing and hilarious. I would ask her questions, have her repeat that certain part again, and ask the why’s and how’s and when’s so that I could fully immerse myself in her stories.
Other times, there was a grand lesson for me to hear. Whether it was a spiritual lesson or a relationship lesson, she always had the answer! I would come away feeling encouraged, built up in my faith, and trusting that God was working even if I couldn’t see the answer to my particular problem. I would say, “Tell me another story, Mommy, from when you were young!”
About this time, a desire for adventure was percolating in my heart. I would daydream constantly, even so much that it affected my wardrobe. I enjoyed wearing bracelets and necklaces as a little girl, but as I was getting older, I didn’t have a strong interest in jewelry. Everyone tried to get me to like it, but I felt it might get in the way if I was on a missionary adventure in a jungle somewhere. Instead of daydreaming about fancy hair-styles, I have often daydreamed about what kind of hair style would most suit the mission field and took the least amount of care, so that I could focus instead on the hard and laborious work of living in a third world country or scaling mountainsides on my future adventures. Instead of dreaming about fancy purses and shoes, I daydreamed about what kind of satchel or shoulder bag would suit me the best as I wandered through unknown lands. I also wore moccasins in high school which absolutely horrified my sisters! And of course, I ran my fastest time ever, the day I wore my moccasins to gym class!
I still have them.
(Disclaimer: I do appreciate jewelry and fancy things! I love to dress up too. And I love that my daughter loves to dress up. Over the years, I have learned to enjoy my own version of fancy! In fact, if my daughter wants to get her ears pierced one day, I may just go and get mine pierced with her as a Mommy Date!)
My daydreams took on an element of adventure. Perhaps it was fueled as well by my adventurous father who would take me hiking into the mountains. When your Dad takes you for a hike past the “No Trespassing” sign, you know you’re in for an adventure. We would walk as far as our legs would take us, enjoying the incredible views overlooking Vancouver, British Columbia, high up in the mountains. He would point out streams, waterfalls, flowers and plant life. He would also make sure not to point out signs of bear or cougar nearby. He didn’t tell me about all the moments he did notice signs of wildlife, as he didn’t want to frighten me, but he told me years later!
A few years ago, I started to tell our kids stories of adventure from my life. Stories about places I went and people I met, sharing the gospel with many different people in many different lands. And now, it is a regular thing to hear one of my children say, “Mama, tell us another story!” So we snuggle together, I set the scene, and they dive into their imaginations to recreate for themselves another story as I remember it.