Recently Becky Higgins wrote a great post, “Project Life Can Save the World”. In it she wrote about the importance of the family unit. I would recommend reading it. However, her basis for the blog post was an article in the New York Times titled, “The Family Stories That Bind Us”. I strongly recommend you read this article. If you have time for only one, pick the Times article.
How important is the family narrative? This article makes a case that THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do for your family is to make sure they know the stories of who and where they, you, and your ancestors came from. The positive stories, but also the stories where your family came through a tough time. The big stories and the everyday stories, as well as the big events and traditions and the little sayings and doings. These stories give our children a sense of belonging which in turn gives them confidence in who they are. They are able to weather the tough times.
Because I am packing to go on a scrapbook retreat next weekend with my sister and my niece this story really made sense to me. Sometimes I feel guilty spending time on scrapbooking or going on a retreat, but documenting our stories is a good thing for me to do. I enjoy it. It relaxes me. It makes me happy when I go back and look through my pages and remember. However, it is also good for my family. No, this isn’t the only way that my boys know who they are and where they have come from, but it is a part of conveying that narrative. I am telling and recording our stories…and that is a very good thing.
How do you tell and record your family stories? Do you journal, scrapbook, video, blog, or something else?