I have no stories.
I am fresh out. I look inside and there is nothing.
A couple mornings a week, I take a turn driving Sugarplum, Studley and Giselle (Sugarplum's friend) to school. As soon as the seatbelts click they start yelling "Ms. Trout, tell us a story!" And usually I do.
They all start the same: "Once upon a time there were two little girls named Giselle and Sugarplum, a little boy named Studley and a driver named Ms. Trout. They were on their way to school in their little car." And then the car shrinks to the size of a chipmunk or turns into a rocket ship or helps the fairies rescue their queen from pirates. It is an industrious car.
But lately, I can't make that darn car do anything. It is a great disappointment. If things don't change soon, I may have an identity crisis. You see, I don't drive a fancy car. I don't drive a clean car. I don't drive a car with dvd players and seat warmers and art supplies. I drive a car with pieces of lunch on the floor.
What I do have is the ability to transform that car into anything I want. I love making the kids shriek and giggle and gasp. They love that the driver always forgets the adventures as soon as they get to school because grown-ups don't understand magic. Often they take a fairy kiss or a butterfly's benediction with them to school. Souvenirs.
And yet, I am road weary. It just seems that we've done all there is to do.
I'm also afraid that if I don't get back up to speed soon they will lose interest and wander off. They will look forward to the days when other parents drive. They will read Seventeen and Tiger Beat and the Huffington Post. I will have lost them. I will have lost my chance to make the world just that much more impossibly real. The clock is ticking.
So tomorrow I'll start another story, and hope that it takes on its own life the way they used to. Maybe tomorrow there will be flowers growing out of fallen seeds in the back seat of the car. Maybe we will notice a village of tiny people living in the blossoms. Maybe I'll tell you more about my sailing class and how I can't concentrate on all those fancy sailing terms because the view is so spectacular.
Maybe tomorrow the stories will come back.