How to Create an Oral History for your Family; or Unforgettable and Unfortunate Things my Kids have Done
by Evey Brown
It happens almost every time my family gets together, someone says, “Mom, tell us again about the time…” and a certain child is singled out for embarrassment. The whole family laughs and the forenamed child groans in pseudo shame. And then everyone sits back as I retell the tale that has become a part of our family history.
Like the story when Brad put a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in our VCR just like it was a tape. (Yes, I know some of you are a little too young to know what a VCR was, think of them like very fat CD’s.)
Or when Kris took a hammer to his bedroom wall just below the light switch so he could see why the light turned on and off. I was secretly proud of his curious mind but at the time couldn’t overlook the hole.
And who could forget the time Jenny lay on the couch and played ‘airplane’ with the dog? She lost her balance and managed to toss him right through the huge picture window of our house. Luckily the dog was fine, but it cost a fortune to replace the glass.
There’s also the day Alex put an arrow, yes I said arrow, through our computer monitor. In his defense both the bow and arrow were handmade and he says his brother put him up to it.
Holly never likes it when we talk about how we broke her of her tattling habit. She entered my bedroom and informed on her sister who had hit her, “Just like this,” she said and whacked herself hard on the forehead. My husband called Jenny in and had Holly repeat her accusation, and yes, she hit herself again. This was repeated over and over with each of our children until Holly finally said, “Hey… are you teasing me?”
Max’s story is more recent. He was playing video games with his girlfriend when I came in and addressed him as ‘Princess’. In ‘my’ defense, okay, I don’t have a real defense, but the name has stuck. Poor boy.
These stories are still as accurate as I can remember but in all honesty I am sure they have become exaggerated over the years. I need to put them all on paper so they will not be forgotten. And there are new ones being created each day. In the meantime, we tell and retell the stories together. They make us laugh and bind us together and what could be better than that?