I grew up in a household where stories were not told. Not stories of the past anyhow. Both my parents left their homes in other countries to make new lives, and they embraced that. Life was about the new, the now, the current experience. There was a lot of emotional disconnect in my house, and I think this was another symptom of it – no connecting through shared reminisces.
I, on the other hand, love stories. The writer in me loves the connections and building blocks that the past creates. I don’t cling, but I do remember.
I scrapbook for that reason – I want to tell the stories. I don’t know who will ‘read’ them, but that isn’t the important thing. For me it’s that they are told, with passion and respect and humour. These stories make up our lives, they make up a part of who we are.
I didn’t know the full story of the day of my adoption until my Mum told me when I was 18 and getting ready to leave home. It just came up casually in conversation – they weren’t keeping it from me, they just didn’t see it as relevant and I didn’t know how to ask. How to explain that to me, that is my birth story? My rush to the hospital story? My origin story? How to explain that importance to someone who sees it as sentimentality of no importance? (Not that she doesn’t remember it fondly, just that it didn’t seem overly important to our daily lives to her.)
We love to experience new things, but we also love to tell stories of the past. These connect us, creating a stronger, richer story for Bushboy to continue his life with. They also, I hope, show us, his parents, as people with lives and feelings and experiences beyond what he sees.
I don’t say that either way is right, or the one way. I just know for me I want to be a keeper of stories, a teller of tales, a sentimental fool of the highest order.