When I was a kid growing up, one of the things I remember best were the times when my dad would tell unicorn stories.
They weren't unicorns that were pink and fluffy with those poufy white manes like my little pony. In fact, they very seldom had more than one unicorn in them. But this unicorn was our unicorn, and he would take us on adventures to exotic places and we would be able to do amazing things.
Since my son was born, I've been telling him unicorn stories as well. It has been much more enjoyable since he learned English of course, though he did smile a lot when he was just a baby.
Tonight, I was able to tell a unicorn story to both of my kids at the same time for the first time. The Boyo got into his "Unicorn story listening position" which is snuggled up next to me with his head on my shoulder. This was the appropriate position when I was a little boy too, and must surely be universal. Sweet Pea was cuddled up on the other side, chattering away and cooing contentedly. I started the story in the traditional way.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, when animals and people were much closer together, there lived a Unicorn. Now, a Unicorn is a big, beautiful blue horse, with beautiful white wings, and a horn growing right out of the middle of his forehead...
When my dad would tell the story, he would then explain that a unicorn can change into any animal that it wanted to, and he would go letter by letter through the alphabet, listing animals that started with that letter. This of course was a great way to use time and make a story longer, in the hopes that his children would get drowsy!
When I tell the stories, the Boyo and I alternate naming animals that Mr. Unicorn could change into, not even close to alphabetically, but fun none the less. The last animal is always the one that came to visit most often in the stories of my youth, a little red hen.
So tonight, as I started the story, and the Boyo was squirming and Sweet Pea was chattering I thought that it might just be a long night. But in short order they both calmed down and got lost in the story. I rambled on and on, making things up as the story developed, and soon the boy, the girl and Mr. Unicorn were on a great adventure deep in a jungle seeking the lost treasure of the Monkey King.
And as I talked and snuggled with my kids, I was content.