Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tell Me a Story

Marty six-years-old, 1955

"Is that you, back in the olden days?"
asked Lucy.

"Was that in the 90's?"
asked Chelsea

A bunch of my grandkids are losing their teeth, so I pulled out this picture to show them how I looked back in the olden days. "Did Opa really save all my mom's baby teeth?" Eliza asked.

"Tell us about when our mom was little," begged Lucy. From teenagers down to babies, kids love to hear about their mom's mischief, and their dad's escapades. And they're all blown away by our free and easy childhoods. The stories connect them to the children we've told them we once were. They respect us, knowing we were little kids, like them, and came through the challenges they're facing. It's so awesome to find out your mom had leg-aches, too, when she was growing, and your dad was also scared of wind. Suddenly everyone can relate!

I heard some Professional storytellers discussing the value of stories. One woman said:

"Separation of church and state has come to mean we can't teach values at school. Since values are all part of one religion or another, they're not allowed. Consequently, many children are growing up in a void—they don't know how to live, and they don't know how to die. They don't know how to treat aging neighbors, or little kids being bullied on the playground. They don't know how to stand for something, or how to deal with their own fears. They have no maps."

Stories, especially family stories, help fill this empty spot. How did you feel when your dog died? The kids in your life need to hear about that. What did you do after school? Why did you get in trouble and how did you get out of it?

We spoke a different language than the kids of today—teach them in your language. "Creepers! That flick was boss!" or "Wait-up. I've got a snuggie." Show them how you danced, let them listen to your music, and treat them to some vintage dishes like spam sandwiches, chipped beef on toast, or Ovaltine. It will be like time travel.

I have a new blog friend (she's my new real friend, too) and she has a blog called Back in the Olden Days. It describes her childhood in the 50's and 60's and it will take you back to a simpler time, when priorities weren't discussed as much as lived. The details are ordinary, yet extraordinary nowadays.

If you lived during the good old days, you'll love strolling down her memory lane. You used to live there! If you're younger, looking for good old ways to raise kids and strengthen families, you'll find dependable, old-fashioned ideas peeking through her paragraphs.

Click and read. You'll be inspired to tell your own stories. When I get carried away I almost imagine that I'm six again. My audience sits across the table, wiggling their teeth, and I notice one of mine feels loose, too. The magic of stories . . . oh wait; it really does feel loose! I wonder if the tooth fairy leaves enough for a root canal these days!

Now it's your turn:
Start with the phrase Back in the Olden Days . . . and:

Tell a detailed description of a regular Saturday morning when you were a kid.
Tell about the first funeral you ever went to and what you honestly thought.
Tell about something you were caught doing, and then punished for.
Tell about visiting your grandma and grandpa. What did you do there?

(of course, you could write any of these stories down, too.)


Grandma Cebe said...

Ah, gee whiz. Thanks for the shout out. I'm having a great time remembering my "Olden Days" and thanks for your encouragement.

Christie said...

My kids favorite thing in the whole world is sitting at your feet and hearing stories about their dad. Most favorite are the stories of him being naughty. (Pretty much all the stories, ha ha)

VickiC said...

Will have to get back to writing my life history again. You and Cebe have inspired me. Bookmarked Back in the Olden Days this morning. Have shared TravlinOma, and now have this new site to gift friends.

Grammy T. said...

Thank you so much for the prompt. You are a pro and I appreciate it. :)

Grandma Cebe said...

Vicki C - you should know that I was inspired by TravelinOma to start my blog. It was after being introduced to her blog and realizing that I wasn't leaving much behind for my kids and grandkids that I started it. She is even the inspiration for some of my posts - like "The One That Got Away".

Keep inspiring us, Marty. We all need a nudge once in awhile.

Sheri said...

Thanks for sending me over to Grandma Cebe site. . .brings back a lot of memories, as does yours.

Sheri said...

Marty, my hair was just like that at six. Did your mom use the little pink twisty curlers? What were they called?