One of the unanticipated benefits of reading more to my children is that I start telling my children more about my own history and family. Perhaps I’m in the story telling mood or I’ve just slowed down a bit at the end of the day or the stories themselves trigger memories, but these personal stories seem to be even more interesting to the kids than the story I’m reading.
When we read Charlotte’s Web, I told Ricky and Debi how I used to raise pigs for the stock show. I told them how one time the mama pig died and so my dad (Baba) had to bring all the baby pigs home so we could feed them with bottles. They stayed in our backyard for several weeks, and we loved baiting them with the bottles, making them chase after us to get their milk. When they were strong enough, we sent then back to their pens on a nearby farm until they got big.
“And then you killed them?” asked Debi.
When we talked about the different plagues of Moses and how one of the plagues was flies, I told Debi how much her Baba hated flies.
I told her how our backyard used to butt against a field, and our neighbor had eight cows. The flies loves those cows, and those flies were always coming into our house, landing on our watermelon and Baba’s garden grown corn and banana squash. Baba had several fly swatters he used on them as soon as we had had the opening prayer. Sometimes he would curse about them but since they were a plague in Moses’s time, we figured this was warranted.
When we talked about the plague of locusts (grasshoppers) that visited the Egyptians, I told how Baba used to tear their heads off in his garden because grasshoppers liked to eat his tomatoes. I don’t know if I’m sharing the best stories about their Baba with them, but so far, they seem pretty impressed with him. As they should. He was a man you respected, and you never messed with, especially if you were a fly.
What memories have you shared with your children?
And I WILL be getting pictures of pigs when I was a little girl pronto. Mom? Your photo albums?