I love, love, love this article. This is pretty much how I was raised. . . and look how I turned out. Seriously, though – the stories I was told by family members, combined with the books I read, (Okay, and maybe one very real love story and apocalyptic breakup) made me very much the person I am today.
“Books contain narratives, but only family stories contain your family’s personal narratives. Fortunate children get both. They hear and read stories from books to become part of other people’s worlds, and they hear and tell stories of their family to understand who they are and from whence they came.
As Ursula LeGuin said, “There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.” Oral storytelling has been part of human existence for millennia.”
I need to remember this the next time I am telling the story of my grandfather, and the train trip when he left home from Hazelhurst at 11, and how he wanted the apple so badly, but he saved his ten cents. Or when Grandma ran down to the fields to ask her father if her grandma could buy the Singer sewing machine from the rolling truck.
When the kids roll their eyes, I will just think to myself how fortunate they are to have me there to tell them my stories about old dead folk.
Do you have a defining family story? I’d love to hear it.