A conversation with my eight year old...
revealing the importance of being shaped by the insanity of our forebears....
M: I need to spray oil on this. I'll use this cocoanut oil. Can you open it for me? Which side does it spray out?
Me: The side with the hole in it.
M: You mean with the red dot?
Me: Yes, there's a red dot there to make it more obvious so you don't miss it and spray oil all over yourself... like your great-grandy did, only paint. She accidentally painted herself.
And so I ended up telling my youngest about how his great-grandmother somehow missed all the cues on the spray paint can and instead of spray painting the furniture she was aiming for, painted her face and hands in one fell swoop. And then, in perfect Grandy fashion, she couldn't get the door open (paint on her hands) and so ran screaming toward the kitchen window to alert (read: Frighten the heck out of) my mother so she would let her in to wash up.
My parents told me family stories growing up because they were 1. utterly hysterical and 2. often a fabulous example of what not to do. My dad talked about "teaching a dog to drive" and taking apart his gym teacher's car to reassemble it on the school balcony. Yup. My mom told about the goofy things her mother did and how dad's teaching a dog to drive was more successful than anyone attempting to teach Grandy to drive.
And except for my mom, all the main characters in those stories are gone now. And my kids don't know these people who, for better or worse, still impact their lives.
And so I'm glad my parents told me stories.
I try to remember to tell my kids.
And I put this here as a reminder to you to do the same.
And be careful which way the spray can points. You just never know....