But the stories are not just about Eliza alone.
There are recurring themes, like making up a story about "Eliza's House on the Hill on Saba" or "Eliza's Dog Cookie and His Best Friend Bingo" (Cookie is a one-eared stuffed dog and Bingo is a real dog owned by Nana Wilda on Saba.), "Eliza and Her Iguana" and "Eliza and the Scarlet Macaw."
But her latest favorite story line is "Otto the Tortoise and Eliza the Hare."
Otto is one of Eliza's best friends from school. He is a lovely little boy who, much to Eliza's delight, will take her hand to hold when she asks, share his iPod with her, share his Bunny Fruit and even sit through a not-too-thrilling hour at a craft shop with her. Plus Otto is really cute too :)
When I first started making up Otto the Tortoise and Eliza the Hare stories, I would alternate who would finish the journey first. And they do go on some seriously fun journeys. They have been to Coney Island, the rain forest on Saba, the beach on St. Maarten, the Carousel in Central Park and the Monkey House at the Bronx Zoo.
But after the first few stories, Eliza told me the ending was wrong.
She told me Otto the Tortoise and Eliza the Hare had to end the adventure "together."
I asked Eliza why and she said...
"so they could take each other's hand and both win the race."
Now if that isn't true love and friendship, I don't know what is.