I just finished putting the kids to bed. After reading a few stories and singing a few songs, I got the usual request: "Mommy, can you tell me an Emett story?"
I grew up in the Emett family. There was the Dad, Vaughn, the Mom, Bev, and their seven kids (seven kids!). I go through all the names of those kids, describe the house they lived in, the yard, and sometimes the vehicles, and then tell them whatever story pops into my head, or whatever I feel compelled to tell. Sometimes they are serious, sometimes I'm trying to teach them something about their extended family, but most of the time they are simple and funny stories.
I got the idea from my brother Paul. He started doing this with his kids long ago, and shared the idea at one of our biannual Emett family symposiums (where we get together to present, discuss, and workshop, whatever anyone is interested in and wants to share). I immediately loved the idea. I had never thought of sharing my own family and childhood stories to my children in this way.
They love it. I mean really, really love it, and I do too.
Tonight, feeling inspired by the kitten jumping on the bed right when I was starting our Emett story, I told a simple story about a time when Bev (my Mom) was making bread in the kitchen. I told about how she would grind her own wheat, and mix it in her mixing bowl, and how she would put it in a big giant metal bowl, cover it with a towel, and let the dough rise on the kitchen table, with the warm sun on it. I told them about how my Mom had just gotten some new little kittens, and how one of them who was so little he could have fit in my hands, saw that dough, and thought it looked so warm and soft and comfortable, that he decided to climb on top of the dough and take a nap.
The boys just laughed and giggled, and thought that was so funny, and their reaction made me laugh too. I'll never forget that sunny afternoon, and laughing at the kitten sleeping on that warm rising dough, and wishing I could find a giant bowl of dough to take a nap on too.
Tonight I'm feeling extra grateful for the family I grew up in. I love them all so much, and have so many memories that make me laugh, and make me happy. I know that I am so lucky and blessed to be born to the parents I was born to, and to have all the siblings I do, and now all the sisters and nieces and nephews I've gained. We are an ever-growing bunch!
I'm also so grateful for Rick's family. We just had my sister-in-law Holly, and niece Erin in town for the weekend, and had so much fun spending time with them. I just love them, and all of his family.
Goodnight and good dreams to you all,