I grew up in a home rich with family heritage. My mom loved genealogy and knew how to breathe life into dusty documents and color to faded black and white photos - my mom told me stories.
As a grown woman with five children of my own, I've tried to do the same. For years I did it through scrapbooking. But it didn't take long to realize that it wasn't my artistic skills my children really cared about. They never stopped on a page and said, "Mom, you matched that paper to my shirt - perfectly!" Nope. What they did say as they leaned across my lap, pointing at photos is, "Tell me the story!" "Tell me mom about the day I was born... Tell me mom about the day I cried when everyone sang me happy birthday... Tell me mom about my grandma and her garden..."
Don't worry if you haven't done it forever, just start today. The consistency and cumulative effect of one good question - just sharing one story a day, adds up.
I will never forget the first time I attended a storytelling festival.
Curious, a friend and I attended on a “work assignment”. Not sure what to expect, we had carefully selected events from the online schedule, that would mean the least amount of commitment for our time and money. But from the moment I stepped on the grass in the evening air and approached that big, billowing tent, white lights glimmering from within, I was smitten. And that’s before I ever heard a word from the stage. The people so excited, the surroundings breathtaking, an energy in the air and I could feel it. I took my seat, soaked in the atmosphere, and made a conscious decision to suspend my preconceived ideas about what was going to happen.
Here he comes, screaming across the front yard and headed for the front door. I can’t wait until that darling twelve year old slams through it I think I am as excited as he is! I get to turn off my “school morning alarm” for three whole months. We get to go to bed when we want, wake up when we want, go to the park, take a hike, or ride our bikes to get a Tiger’s Blood sno-cone. We can lie out or splash around in the pool, make s’mores and sing around the fire pit. Maybe we’ll even watch a movie together IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!
As of today, they’re mine, all mine for the entire summer!
With friends and family gathered around the Thanksgiving table this year, what will the conversations include? If your family is anything like mine, conversations can vary from the mundane, to the outrageous! When a large group of people get together, it can be hard to keep conversation away from topics that are sure to bring debate to the gathering. Let’s face it, unless everyone in your family agrees 100% on politics, religion and which movie was the best of the year, chances are that you are in for a less than “Norman Rockwell” experience.
Do You Want A Happy Family?
5 Ideas For A Happier Family
Of course, we all want a happy family, right? What “happy family” means may be a little different to each of us. But the more, and longer, I move through life, I realize the story we all want to tell is that we come from, belong to, and/or hope to have – a happy family.
Our dream for FamilyStorytelling.com is that it will be a place where we can share ideas and learn ways to build a happy family – one story at a time.
A search for “How to have a happy family” will produce plenty of advice. Yet, given some of that advice, I've watched friends and loved ones do things “in search of happiness” that ultimately make them miserable. I've watched friends and loved ones who live with joy (in spite of all kinds of hard things), and seemed to never have to do much “searching” for happiness. For years I've pondered the difference, and I've come to some conclusions.