Telling tales

For 48 hours, from dinner time on Thursday until Saturday night, Vincent was enthralled by “Syllabo.” His “sister.” He began talking about her and the island where she lived and barely stopped for anything. He appeared by the bathtub while I was taking a shower to tell me more (“Mommy, did you know that Syllabo can climb tall trees, all the way to the very top?”), and then by my bedside at 2:45 am (“We love to play basketball together, me & Syllabo.” “Syllabo has a cape. And a motorcycle-rocketship.”) — I couldn’t quiet him back to sleep until 4:00 am. Sunday the Syllabo-obsession tapered off, probably due to lack of sleep, but today it’s returned, in a milder, but more active, form — he wants us to go visit her tomorrow. Right on.

(For a brief period he also referred to her as his girlfriend. But I was quite strenuous on the distinction: there’s “sister” and there’s “girlfriend” and never the twain shall meet.)

At this very minute he’s drawing me a picture of her all the while keeping up a running commentary: Syllabo is a princess mermaid that can walk and she has a tree house in her back yard.

It’s a revelation that he’s drawing recognizable things now — it seems like his pictures transformed from indecipherable scrawls overnight — but I’m most looking forward to his discovery of reading and writing. He knows his letters, can write his name, but he doesn’t yet connect how letters form words. When he does, when he learns how to make the stories he tells into his very own books… Can you imagine, can you remember, the absolute  wonder of it?

6 responses to “Telling tales”

  1. i love reading about these developments. isn’t it fascinating to another mind take shape, be able to express itself? it’s almost like we take our own abilities in that regard for granted, and, often, criticize ourselves for being “not good enough.” what a miracle it is to be able to tell stories and make symbols at all! i love this.

    p.s. syllabo is a great name. and any chick with a cape is awesome!

  2. How absolutely magical children’s worlds can be – and what a stellar indicator of parenting done well. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this with us; it’s been decades since my kids were in that place!

  3. Now I want to go and visit Syllabo, too!

  4. What a gorgeous post! I wish Syllabo would be my friend. All I have are Syllabi, and they’re generally not very friendly, perhaps because they’re always changing and demand so much attention.

  5. Marie, I remember well when my boys learned to read (my girl isn’t there yet… but she can recognize an ‘L’!) and it is WONDERful. I mean that in the truest sense of the word: wonder-full. For them, and for mama* (and papa, and other readers who love them). And it keeps on being wonderful as they get more proficient and discover new worlds inside the cover of a book. I just love to stand by and watch it all unfold for them.

    *bonus for mamas who are also writers: they go long stretches of time READING. That is, they ask NOTHING of you during this time. You may even have time to jot down an idea for a poem, or a quick note for a revision. I mean this!

    P.S. I also *heart* Syllabo.

  6. Syllabo is rife with possibilites, yes!: syllabi, syllable, symbol…..

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