Monday, November 20, 2006


In the morning, I like to have a cup of green tea. It is my ritual.

According to John M. Gottman, author of Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, ritual is an important element in marriages that last. So is remembrance and story telling.

Thinking on this, I’ve decided to make a dinner-time ritual of telling stories to my children— stories of their birth and imagined future, stories of my past, stories of the life I’ve made with my husband.

So, last night, I told this tale to my children, over chili bean soup and corn chips…

Once, before you were born, when Daddy and I had first married, I got annoyed with him. He had this habit of leaving things open… drawers, doors, toaster oven. One night I said, ‘You know, it would be good if you could close things when you’re done with them.’ …. Later that night I went into the kitchen to find this… every drawer, every door, anything that could be opened was wide open.

I laughed and laughed and laughed. See, that’s one thing that I’ve always loved about your daddy. He makes me laugh.”

My kids made lovey eyes and giggled. They liked the story. I think I will take a week off from blogging to eat with my kids, laugh with them, and tell more stories.

(See you next week on Tuesday! Oh, and sorry I posted this off-schedule. I know I'm a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday poster, but today starts my "vacation," so I broke with ritual and posted on a Monday.)

Angel on the Tea Tray Photo Gail Nadeau. Used with permission.


Blogger Heather said...

Sounds like my hubby's complaint against me.
I like the idea of telling stories.
From The Thirteenth Tale: “My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth herself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? What you need are the plump comforts of a story.”
Of course, the best stories tell truth.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Katrina said...

What a great idea - to create a ritual of sharing stories! My oldest loves to hear stories about "back when we were kids" and is always asking us questions about our childhoods. He'd love if we started a ritual like this, too.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Charity Singleton said...

Then maybe you can share a few more of those stories with us. And recipes too!

3:51 PM  
Blogger Craver VII said...

Sweet! Storytelling is such a cool thing to be able to do. I have learned to do it for Sunday School; I did it at a friend's this weekend...
...What I really would like is for Mrs. Craver and me to be able to exchange stories with my kids.
I'd love to someday hear my kids say, "I learned how to tell a story well from my mom and dad."

4:53 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Heather... oh, great quote! Would that all our stories give plump comfort!

Katrina... I think this is what helps a family grow together... visions of each other that are full and true.

Charity... wish you could be here to taste-test. :)

Craver... yes, that day will come... and then you will get to laugh (though you may skip on the lovey eyes!)

5:12 PM  
Blogger Martin Stickland said...

Hubby has a great sense of humour, that made me laugh, sounds like the kind of thing I would do (unfortunately).

Have a great vacation.

All the best from wet old England!

Kind Regards


5:40 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

Great story! It made me laugh, too. I particularly liked the picture I have in my mind of your very smart and very cute little girls as they sat listening to your story. I bet just hearing it got them feeling all hyper inside with excitement about their mommy and daddy.

5:43 PM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

That is a wonderful story you have shared with your children. :) Too funny.
You have a wonderful vacation and a blessed Thanksgiving :)

12:28 AM  
Blogger CE Grand said...

Interesting I wish my parents might, someday, learn to laugh a little bit about that which they can't stand about each other. When it comes to telling your children stories, great idea, that's what I love about going to my grandparent's.

7:11 PM  
Blogger jan@theviewfromher said...

I just think it's beautiful how generations continue to love hearing stories about their parents and grandparents. They're like threads that weave families all together, and anchor us in our history, and assure us that we have a place that matters. A lovely post.

11:04 PM  
Blogger Jim Martin said...

L.L.--What a great idea! (Telling a story like this at mealtime.) My children still talk about some of the stories that I told them when they were growing up.

Happy Thanksgiving.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Ted Gossard said...


Thanks. I like the story, and thoughts.

And have a blessed Thanksgiving, and time with your family!

8:24 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Very funny, and it is important to share these stories. I need to be more mindful of it around here, too.

5:33 PM  

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