Tell me a story, Gigi.
It’s a difficult request to resist – especially when a cute little four-year-old granddaughter is making it…and she’s crawling up in my lap and waiting expectantly.
I’m not sure how this started. One day I told her a story about my own childhood, and now, just about every day, she asks for another story. They’re not terribly exciting stories – what I got for Christmas one year…how my brother and I played in the snow…the time a horse stepped on my toe. Stories of the every day – ordinary stories, but they are building up a picture of her grandma and of her family heritage one piece at a time.
My own mother was a wonderful storyteller. My brother and I would often sit with her on one of our beds and listen to the stories from her childhood and teenage years. Mom was orphaned at a young age and made the rounds of living with one or another of her large Catholic family until she left school. There were stories of the aunts with rhyming names and the uncle who was a better bricklayer when he was drunk and the grandma who owned a little mom and pop grocery store. Mom was good at describing people. And there were the places – most of all I remember her story about one of the houses she lived in in Gettysburg, the one that would have been right in the middle of the action during the Battle of Gettysburg, the house that still had bloodstains on the floor of the attic. Together we imagined the wounded soldiers that had been hidden away up there and tended by the anxious residents.
And then there were stories about how she felt – what it was like for her as a child. How she felt when a couple who had considered adopting her changed their minds. How she felt about going to Catholic school at a time when being left-handed was almost a crime and so it was tied down to force her to use her right hand. How she loved her Grandma – the one who handed out penny candy in her little store.
I haven’t heard those stories in many, many years, but I haven’t forgotten them. They are important to my understanding of my mother.
And who doesn’t love a good story, especially the story of someone you love?
What about you and the little people in your life? Are you telling them your stories?
- Childhood stories
- Stories of your young adulthood
- Stories of your courtship and marriage
- Stories of hard times and good times
- Stories of your coming to Christ
- Stories of God’s working in your life
- Stories of their babyhood
Families are in so much trouble today, but maybe if we started sharing all those stories with our little ones, and we started remembering those times with each other, then we would remember that family is worth all the time and care. Maybe we would be willing to work harder to make sure that the story goes on.
For me, the next time a grandchild says, “Tell me a story, Gigi,” I’m going to dig up yet another story to tell.
Photography from Pixabay