I did it!!

Hello again friends and welcome back to “The Over 50 Corner.”

If, by any chance, you had the time to read last week’s posting, you will recall that I mentioned that all of us should take the time to relate our history with our children and our grandkids!

Well, I received various comments on this including one from, no other than, my daughter who actually challenged me to “put up or shut up!”

So, here is the scenario…my granddaughters were out of school for spring break all of last week. My daughter, D., who is a school teacher, was also on a week’s leave and had planned to go with her mom, my wife M., to see a Broadway show in San Antonio, TX. This left granddad, me, to take care and entertain the girls for two days while the ladies took off and their dad was at work.

This was the first time that I was on my own with the girls.  Remember, the eldest is 13 and her sister, 8. Two entirely separate age groups and interests!  What to do?  This was a task that, to be honest, I was slightly nervous about.  How to keep them both on the same page.  So, on we went!

On day one, we started by going out to breakfast!  Bagels and pastries with juice and milk did the trick! (Got them both covered!)  Not wasting any time, avoiding dead time, we headed out to the movies to see “A Wrinkle in Time” in 3-D!  It is rated PG so, it filled the bill quite nicely.  It was a bit “deep” for the younger one but, right up the alley for granddaughter #1.  I explained the significance of the movie to #2 ie: 1.) never let anything separate you from your sibling and 2.) the road to your goals just might have some obstacles that you should overcome.  Maybe some of us should reflect on these!

Quickly on to lunch at Chick-fil-a (another hit with both of them) and then home.

And then it happened!  I sat them down and started our conversation with, “what is my name?”  First answer, of course, was how they refer to me as. (Aito! Their version for the Spanish “abuelito” or grandfather.) Then came what everyone else calls me…Fred! (No, not what my wife and friends call me! I wanted to keep it clean!)  It surprised me to find out that they did not know my proper name!

I continued with my parents names, heritage, my childhood, siblings, teenage years and continued until we reached the present. I’ve had a long life so, it took a while.  (I did leave the depressing stuff out!)

To my surprise, they were actually interested! Granddaughter #1 actually took notes! Her first remark was, “by the time you were my age (13) you had lived in 3 different countries and 2 different states!”  And the questions kept coming about almost everything! Did I have pets, where were my parents from, age differences among my siblings, etc…?  Even wanting to know more about their mom and their uncle, my son.

There, I did it!  Now, they want to know more about their grandmother (M.).  I told them that they would have to get that information from her!  Now, it’s her turn!

So, there we are my friends!  I “put up” and backed my words! Now, I hope that that they will carry some of the info with them for years to come. The update now is, I have lived in (4) different countries and 5 different states!

As they now say in the movies, “Your mission, if you decide to accept it…” is to pass your personal history on as I did.  You’ll be surprised at the reception it might have!

Take care and hope to meet up with you again at “The Over 50 Corner.”

Thanks again for all the comments!  As you can see, I take them seriously and follow up on them!

Oh, in case you’re wondering about day #2.  It was breakfast at IHop for pancakes and then to explore nearby caverns. All ended well and the girls still love me!




2 thoughts on “I did it!!

  1. Fred, I loved this post because it’s such an important issue for me. I have always been very interested in my family roots, my ancestors, and anything to do with the people and circumstances that make me who I am. I have noticed, though, that not everyone takes the time and effort to find out, and then many times, when it’s too late, they regret it. During the last two years of my father’s life on this earth, I took the time to carry a small notepad, and whenever it was appropriate, I would ask him about the past and I would tell him that I was writing it down because I didn’t want to be bothering him with the same questions. Of course, he was never bothered and was always happy to tell me his stories. I did the same with my mother. My little notepad is priceless to me because my Dad is gone and my mother has memory loss now. My daughter inherited my interest in our ancestry, and a few years ago, when she was in her early 30’s, came up with the brilliant idea to video tape an interview with her three living grandparents at the time. My daughter has been living away from Miami since 1996, first at college, then working on a PH.D in Maryland, and then settling down in the Boston area. So she did these interviews when she visited on holidays because she knew her time with her grandparents would be very limited. Now she has these tapes to show her sons when they get a little older.
    Both my husband and I would like to share our stories with the grandkids, but it hasn’t been easy. My son has three boys, 13-year-old twins and the 11-year old brother. It hasn’t been easy to get them interested, but your post motivates me to keep trying. My daughter’s two boys are still young, 4 and 6, but I already think it might be easier with them because of their mother’s interest. Anyway, it was a great post, I’m glad your granddaughters were receptive, and I hope others will be motivated to follow your advice. I know I was! Thanks! Take care. Mayra


    1. Thank you again Mayra for your continued readership and your comments, These are greatly appreciated! As you, I thought that getting my granddaughters attention was going to be a major obstacle but, as I mentioned in the article, I started with “what’s my given name?” I kept that up with other family member’s names. It really surprised them when they didn’t know! Your grandsons will surprise you with questions. Just throw out some bait and wait for them to bite! Come up with some crazy stuff like; compare your life with theirs when you were their age. No computers, No cellphone, No color TV’s! What did we do? How did we survive? They’ll catch on! Good luck and Thanx again!


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