Here’s another author I love:
I’m not sure the kids are ready for his stories yet, but he wrote this for a “This American Life” on NPR:
I told my wife that I was going to write about adventures, and she laughed without stopping for two minutes. I timed her. She laughed from 11:09 until 11:11. “Are you going to tell them,” she said when she pulled herself together and more or less stopped laughing, “about how you call every trip to the store an adventure?” I told her that I wasn’t, that I was going to write something rich, and true, and wonderful for the radio.
There would be aliens in it, and prehistoric monsters, Aztecs and vampires, crazed scientists and their beautiful daughters. It would contain, somewhere in its 700 words, spies and swordsmen, oracles and barbarians, ghosts, a dancing bear, wise women, werewolves, foot-long carnivorous centipedes, and quite possibly some illicit sex.
She still laughed. I don’t think she believed me. And she’s right. I get it from my parents, I’m afraid. In my family, adventure tended to be used to mean any minor mishap we survived, or even any break from routine, except by my mother, who still uses it to mean what she did that morning.
I suspect that my father, who loved G. K. Chesterton’s essays, had encountered Chesterton’s aphorism that an inconvenience is only an adventure looked at the wrong way, and an adventure only an inconvenience wrongly considered, and he took it to heart. So any inconvenience, any problem, any struggle of a personal nature, any of these things in my family would be described as an adventure.
Let’s admit it. Real adventures are the sorts of things most of us would just as soon avoid. I wouldn’t know what to do if I were on a plane that crashed into an Amazonian dinosaur valley, or a Fumanchu unleashed his centipedes of doom in my general direction. Probably I’d die, quickly and fairly horribly. A character in one of my novels, Tristan Thorn, put this better than I or any of my family members ever managed to. “Adventures were all very well in their place,” he thought, “but there’s a lot to be said for regular meals and freedom from pain.”
There is something inside us all that craves Adventure. I want to be the kind of mom; the kind of person that finds adventure every day. Parenthood certainly is an adventure in and of itself!
If you think about it, we’re all living a story. We’ll all leave a legacy behind us when we move on. Some of us are living a story that just isn’t very interesting. Living a great story doesn’t mean I have to be famous or do something hugely impactful in this world. But it does mean I have to move. I have to change. I have to experience new things and take risks. I have to use the gifts God’s given me. And do what I do with my whole heart. I have to try hard. I have to love hard. I have to live with passion. And in doing so, I will make an impact on MY world.