When Gabe was born I wrote a story about his birth while I was in Uganda. It was for you and Gabe…for you to tell him because you are his older brother. The story is part of a collection of stories I want to write about my family. The collection is titled THE KEEPER OF THE STORY.
In an oral tradition of storytelling, the keeper is a very important person. He (or she) is the person who “keeps” the stories and people remembered by telling the stories to others. You are the one to whom I write (tell) these stories — you are my keeper of my stories (family stories). In time you are the one in the family to tell and pass on family stories to future generations – to your children and others – if you so want. They are written for you and to you, but will be my memories and stories about family.
The next story is about you…and one of my favorites.
It was a bright August afternoon in 1998. Christian had a new sister and she was named Jessica. The day after Jessica came home from the hospital, Bubbe drove her green mini-van to pick up Christian. They would spend the afternoon at Bubbe’s house building with the Lego’s and watching TV. Christian would play with Danny, too.
Christian sat in the car seat in the back of the mini-van. As she drove, Bubbe would occasionally look in the rear-view mirror to check on Christian. From the driver’s seat way up front, he looked so f-a-a-a-r away — way back in the mini-van back seat!
During the ride, Christian talked about his new sister and his Gramma Carol and Grampa Fred. Not knowing if Christian understood that Bubbe and Pop are also his grandparents, because neither are called “gramma” or “grampa,” Bubbe talked to Christian about family and family names. She told him that Pop and Bubbe also are his and Jessica’s grandparents. Christian, a very articulate and smart almost 3-year old, became very quite. So quiet if a pin had dropped, you would have heard it hit the car floor.
Bubbe wondered if she had confused him, although that was not her intention. Suddenly…Christian said very loudly, “BUT YOU CANNOT NOT BE A GRAMMA.” Bubbe was surprised and a little confused. Had she upset him? Was he frightened?
Bubbe swallowed hard and asked, “Why can’t I be a Gramma?” She looked at Christian through the rear-view mirror. She saw that his eyes bore down on her very intently – he was deep in thought.
Christian sat up straight and in a very firm voice replied, “BECAUSE you are not old enough.”
Bubbe laughed to herself, relieved that Christian was not upset. Looking at Christian, Bubbe smiled and said, “I love you, forever.”
As I said, this is one of my favorite stories of you with me. There are other family stories that I will share later.