They record our personal history. They reinforce family bonds. They are retold until they become family legend.
Even though teens may roll their eyes, kids love to hear stories about when they were little. It reinforces the message that they matter, and that parents are paying attention.
In our family, the stories usually have a punch line. Laughter matters in our house, and so far, the kids are still laughing at the jokes.
At 10, Olivia has taken over a family favorite, even though she was too young to remember the original event.
Olivia was two and half years old when the light came on that there was something to this Halloween thing besides Mommy and Daddy taking pictures while she wore a funny little outfit and sat by a pumpkin.
We had a hand-me-down bee costume with a little hood that turned her into a living stuffed animal. But she knew what a Halloween costume was supposed to be.
“I a bee. I scary,” she said as her Dad and Pops pulled her up the street in a wagon to see a few neighbors. She loves that line eight years later.
As Halloween gets closer, the “Bee” story goes into heavy rotation. I even tried to talk her into a “big girl” bee costume this year. She declined because it wasn’t scary enough.
But there’s a new family story evolving that may give the bee a run for its money in Octobers to come.
This summer, 7-year-old Evan has developed an interest in baseball, nurtured by friends and family, including Chris Kieffer, a Daily Journal colleague and baseball aficionado. Chris gamely joined the family rotation, helping Evan with batting and fielding. He cheered on Evan’s Park and Rec team.
Over the past week, Chris – a diehard Giants fan – has let Evan – a developing Cardinals fan – practice the fine art of trash talk as the two teams faced off for the National League Championship.
Evan’s idea of trash talking swings between “The Giants are going down” and a strangely garbled version of the Cardinals dropping Jolly Green Giants’ parts from the sky.
Chris has gamely played along, inviting the Morris family to join the Kieffers for a couple of games. He even included a lesson on pitching strategy with a game of “Guess What the Pitcher Will Throw Next?”
While Evan’s not quoting stats or arguing over coaching philosophies, all the fun with Chris has kept him focused on the series. The night games have ended way past his bedtime, but Evan’s first question in the morning has been what was the score?
This morning, either Chris or Evan will be disappointed, but the stories will last for years.
Michaela Gibson Morris is a Daily Journal staff writer. Contact her at (662) 678-1599.