Saturday, November 23, 2013

Protagonist / Antagonist - A Lifelong Love Affair with Jumping

(Jumping at the Grant's Pass Caveman, on the road to California)

This morning before school my eldest daughter bounded into the kitchen while I stood bleary eyed at the stove stirring eggs and cheerfully announced, “Finished another book last night, Dad.”
“How perfectly delightful,” I slid one of three bowls of Cheerios toward her with skim milk ready to pour.   “Tell me all about it.”
(Jumping at the California / Oregon line)

 Instantly she jumped into the narrative like a skydiver plunging through clouds, describing with vibrant detail the characters foibles and failures as if they were long lost pals.  Lately she’s been staying up way past her bedtime, discovering the secret of reading books by lamp light.  A lifelong love affair, I tell her, with the page.
“So who are the antagonist and protagonist?”  I inquire, pouring a tall glass of orange juice elixir, settling into the nook beside her.  This is worth an extra minute in the busy morning.  The students camped outside my classroom door can just hush!
(Jumping at the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park... Hurrah!)

          “Well, the story is set in a school for really rich kids,” she began.  “The antagonist is a boy named Dylan.  He’s nasty and snobby and likes to scare girls by putting frogs in their desks.”
          Wonderful.  I take a long slow sip of tangy fresh squeeze and relish the world my nine-year-old daughter lives in, imagining my own boyhood filled with classic tales of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher, Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe.
(Jumping  in the Redwood National Forest...Whazz-up Redwoods?)

          “The protagonists are two girls,” she continues.  “They’re twins but very different.”
          Splendid.  I think.  Ready for more.
          “They’re names are Mary Kate and Ashley, and they have a mystery to solve.”
          The Olson Twins?  Seriously?  I’m immediately nauseous as my daughter continues telling me every detail of their daily wardrobe. 
          Oh my!  This is more fun than I ever imagined possible.

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