At the end of an endless day, in throes of a dinnertime gone loud, some small person might gain your attention with a persistent tug on your shirt sleeve. And when that small person pulls at her dress collar, adjusts her ponytail, and finally asks, “Would you like to hear a story, Mama?” it might take every bit of strength you have, every ounce of courage, and every last drop of self-giving love just to make eye contact and mutter feebly, “Yes, sweetie. Tell me a story.”
And then, as wild boys shout and wrestle in the background, as needy, feverish babies squirm and beg for you to feed them, hug them, kiss them, and cuddle them, she will proceed to tell you a story. It will involve elaborate arm gestures and dramatic facial expressions. It will include questions (to be sure you are listening) along the way. It will go on for a good five minutes. Or maybe even ten. And, honestly, in the end, it will be worth every bit that it costs you.