Taking a Tour of the Everything House
Sprinting to school each morning, my 6-year-old son has a lot to say. None of it provides any insight into how a human being can take 42 minutes to put on one tennis shoe. Instead, his soliloquies are about a place called the Everything House. The Everything House has bedrooms, a pool, a playground and France inside it. Adventures happen there, involving my son, his brother, Darth Vader and a ninja named Zane or Zane DX, depending. At the end of various battles and action scenes, I show up as a guest character and tuck everybody into bunk beds.
We are always late and my son's stories are long and full of lengthy digressions like the real reason the dinosaurs died (a car accident). But letting a small child—be it yours or somebody else's—tell you such a tale does a few things. First, it signals to that miniature person that he is worth listening to, which inevitably leads to a bump in his long-term self-esteem. Second, it makes you think about new possibilities, which may or may not come to fruition but do make the day-to-day of life easier. Such as a house with a school in it, which the mothers and children reach simply by walking down the stairs.