One of the best parts of our recent vacation with my husband’s side of the family was the time the kids spent with their grandparents, whom they rarely see as they live a couple states away. Children grow up and get jobs far away from home so it can be difficult for grandparents and grandchildren to get to know each other. The times that are spent together therefore become more valuable.
The Life Writers’ Forum yahoo group I am a member of, moderated by Sharon Lippincott of The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing and Jerry Waxler of Memory Writers Network, has recently been sharing thoughts about that valuable time spent with grandkids. One way to bond with the kids is to tell them the stories of our youth as we go about the day. No special time or place or event required, as we do our daily chores we can talk about whatever old memories come up that relate to what we are doing or thinking. This does take some awareness as we are not so attuned to storytelling as people were in the past, but what fun it can be for everyone to share with a young audience the stories of “the old days.”
While our own kids may have been lucky enough to have heard our stories, they are probably not attuned to storytelling either, so it may be up to you to pass on the family history and the family stories to your children’s children. And while you’re at it, the grandkids would surely LOVE to hear about their parents when they were kids, especially those stories when their mom or dad was less than perfect!