I just read a post from Donald Miller (on whom I have a gigantic author crush), and he posted a preview video of new resources he’s putting out. In the video he is interviewing Phyllis Tickle, former religion editor at Publishers Weekly. She spoke about the importance of people being able to tell their story because it gives them an understanding of that story that they may not have had before.
I am learning that I have a gift for storytelling. I know that this gift was passed down to my from my father. My dad has always had these really wonderful stories from his growing-up days. I always picture my dad as Ralphie Parker from “A Christmas Story.” His stories of boyhood shenanigans are epic.
My parents came to visit us for Christmas and one night we had some dear friends over for supper. After the meal, the kids and my dad are sitting around the table. I have to get him started, “Dad, tell the kids about the time you and Uncle Jack got stuck on the top of the train that started moving…” And it begins… it’s as if it were yesterday. Dad recalls every detail. He weaves together a story, only slightly exaggerated, that keeps you wondering how he could have even survived his childhood. I’ve heard it a hundred times, but I love the excitement and joy that telling the story brings to his face.
And so he goes… story after story. I check to see if the kids are bored to death, when I hear my 8-year-old friend, Duncan say, “Do you have any more stories?”
My dad is elated. Of course he has more stories. It’s just who he is. My mom and I sit back as he goes deeply into another one about how he burned a hole the linoleum floor with a hot pan filled with popcorn and how he stealthily covered it with a rug (genius!).
We’ve decided that Dad will make videos for Elliot. He’ll tell E all the stories from Dad’s childhood and we’ll call them “Grampumentaries.” E can’t miss out on this stuff. My hope is that I will be able to recall simple events in my story and tell them in such a way that my children will be in awe. That they will know that life is good– even when you don’t have much. They will know that even when you make mistakes (like burn a hole in the floor) that your family still loves you.
I’m working on my story….