Over and over again, Damian was scripting in a deep booming voice “Fee! Fi! Fo! Fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman!” as the room went silent. His five and six-year-old classmates were getting changed into their swim wear for the school swimming lessons, while Damian was enjoying the acoustics of the change room.
His love of the drama of words/phrases/stories could be genetic and/or environmental. My mother once studied speech and drama for a couple of years in early adulthood and her love of it carried over in her reading of books to us. I inherited mum’s very expressive story telling style and similarly love to read to my children.
When reading bedtime stories to Damian in the evenings, I notice that he watches my face very carefully (something he usually doesn’t do) and I know he is studying me, intent on absorbing everything about the way I read so that he can do it too.
Last school term, Damian received an award at school assembly for captivating his classmates with his storytelling. I was lucky enough to be the classroom helper at the time that he read the story that earned him that award. He used such wonderful expression and then went on to explain the use of sarcasm in the story. Get that! My son who has autism understood sarcasm at five years of age. Myth busted!
Damian and Jeremy are great readers and I love that they choose to pick up books and read them with such concentration, interest and humour; books about monsters, icky stuff, funny stuff and/or facts. I hate having to ask them to stop reading to get ready to get ready for school, it feels ironic. However, this morning was not a school morning and Damian picked up a book and started reading and my heart melted, so I asked him if I could video tape it and he proudly agreed and even volunteered to start the story again. You can listen to it here*.
I hope that Damian doesn’t lose his love of storytelling and drama (even if he does conform and become more selective about when he chooses to express it) because it’s a beautiful thing and I don’t like to see beautiful things wither and fade.
*Really wish I hadn’t of interrupted Damian to correct a word towards the end but no-ones perfect right. We know it as zucchini anyway, not courgette.