Whenever my family gets together, inevitably stories of the past come up. My parents, their siblings, and friends love to reminisce about their younger years. It’s common to hear childhood tales of my mother and her sisters walking home from school through the narrow streets in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and the people they’d run into. Or perhaps it’s my father sharing with us yet again how his father would take him along to work at Ramey Air Force Base and they’d listen to music together as my abuelo pressed the clothes. According to my dad, this is why he came to love music so much.
Regardless of what story is being shared, one thing remains constant. The joy on my parents’ face as they retell their memories is sure to bring you joy as well. Watching them and listening to their stories always made for an interesting evening. Even when they shared the sadder stories, like when I learned that my mom ate sopa de pan (breadcrumbs in broth) one too many times as a child, they still did so with excitement, nostalgia, and joy. They love to pass on their memories and personally, it gives me a lot of insight into our family’s history.
I still love to hear my parents tell their stories and occasionally ask them to share ones I have already heard many times. Each time, some small new detail they forgot to mention before comes to light. Hearing these stories provides a glimpse into what my parents were like as children and why they are the way they are today.
I suppose the same can be said for my husband and I. Nowadays, we find ourselves reminiscing on those early days before we got married – before the kids and hectic life we lead today. Our daughter seems to enjoy hearing our stories just as I enjoy my parents’. She will often ask us about our childhood or the time before she was born. “When you were little, did abuela read you bedtime stories?” she once asked. When I shared with her about the Quinceañero tradition and the party I had when I turned fifteen, she loved hearing all about it and looking at the photos in my album. It’s fun to see her take so much interest in the past and makes me want to share more.
Our baby girl shares her own stories too. Hers may not always be true, since she often makes up stories and plays pretend, but they are her stories nevertheless. And with her as a storyteller, you truly become immersed in the story. She gives lots of details and will sometimes act out what she’s saying. I suppose one day she’ll be sharing stories of her childhood with her own children.
Storytelling is what keeps things going in many ways. If you think about it, that is how we keep traditions alive and it was the only way of sharing history before we had books. By telling stories, we connect, we inform, we relate. That’s a lot of power for simply sharing what once was.
Do you enjoy sharing or listening to stories? What’s a favorite family story you love to hear?
Disclosure: This story is sponsored by Hallmark through their Life is a Special Occasion campaign. As always, all stories and opinions are my own.