Guthrie and I were playing a hand game tonight - she instigated it as she always does.
It's that one where you and your opponent stack your hands on top of each others and then the hand on the bottom comes up to the top. I know you've played it. She loves it, but it's not often that she doesn't get a little misty eyed during the play.
Her great grandma Rose (my grandma) taught it to her when she was 3 years old. She has a pretty vivid, and accurate, memory of that day. So do I, both because it was the when Grandma and Grandpa met newly born Laithe and because it was the last time we were able to see her before she passed away.
I have noticed that John and I talk often of our extended family to the kids. Just little snippets usually and I don't think it's really something we do intentionally, but I love it. Frequently it's about people we have strong memories of but the kids don't either because of distance or age. My hope is that they will have these threads of stories as they grow and be able laugh as they're loading the dishwasher about how Grandpa Bill and Grandma Masil put dish soap in their brand new dishwasher because they didn't have dishwasher detergent and they certainly weren't going to town to get some! Or how Mamaw drove John to the midnight showing of Star Wars when he was young. I haven't shared the one about Grandma Vera & the snakes in the toilet on the farm just yet. I feel like I'd have to accompany them to the bathroom for the next 10 years!
Guthrie is going through that all important period of realizing she is separate from us. That though she's a member of our family, she as a person is not the same as me as a person. I have to be honest, it's been a rough one - both to witness and experience. Our little empath. Feeling everything so very strongly. Unconditional love has been the phrase of the year.
One of my hopes is that these stories will give her a firm net as she takes these leaps into personhood. A solid, generations-old place to land where she firmly belongs and cannot easily slip through. I feel like this is a gift we can give our children - knowing where and from whom they come. It's also a gift John and I give to ourselves though too. Sometimes it is pretty nice to remember that we're not the first parents on this journey!