Reading bedtime stories as a way to put us into sleep was the least of my mothers’ worries. Even at dinner time my eyelid drops on its own and my head dangles while my mouth is doing its best chewing the remnants of food in my mouth. After dinner and wash up I am totally wasted from running, jumping, hiding, fighting, with the neighbors’ children, the ricecields or the street as our playground. There was no danger because there weren’t that much vehicles back then. As soon as my head hits the pillow I am snoring. No, there was no need for bedtime stories that comes with lessons at the end of the story. Sleeping wasn’t a problem. There were enough lessons learned during the day, when there’s danger of getting hurt during the game, we run away as fast as we can, then we come back when the coast is clear ready to play with whoever is willing to play. When you get tag you run after us, and when I get tag I ran after all of you, this way everybody gets the chance to tag and be tagged. When a new neighbor moves in, we check for kids our age, invite them outside and show them around with other friends.
When my mother wanted us sleeping right away, she has those scary, two headed-monster, child eating creatures smoking up in the tree, making us children hide under the covers and close our eyes so tight so the monsters cant flick them open. Or the easiest of all was the spanking. But those were very rare moments.
Growing up and learning to read I became interested in reading fairy tales at bedtime. These fairy tales put me to sleep. Cinderella, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel and other Prince Charming chasing his would be princess stories. But come to think of it, these women never did anything to win their Prince Charming, All they did was sit there by the window like Rapunzel, or sleep in her bed like Snow White, and Cinderella mopping the floors, just singing and be beautiful, sweet and charming and wait for the prince.
Those Prince Charming chasing their princess, lived happily ever after type shaped my thinking, however, I also learned that when there’s danger we ran as fast as we can, look for another playground, find friends and play with them. We come back when everything is clear, then begin another game. Life is a series of endless game to be played in another playground even in rice fields or in the streets. And you get new friends, family and acquaintances.
What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now? In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bedtime Stories.”