Tag Archives: history

To Our Children’s Children

23 Dec

Many, many years ago, my older brother video taped our grandfather telling his stories over cake and coffee in their apartment. It was fantastic, but I really wish there had been more footage and, I really wished we had interviewed my grandmother, too.

When my parents decided to sell our childhood home after 37 years, I interviewed my siblings about their memories of the house. Because I’m so much younger than them, I had no idea of the shenanigans that went on before my time! It’s a fantastic record of the history that went on in our house.

A few years before our father passed away, I went to visit him and my mom and decided that I would take some time to interview him. I was able to spend several days, covering six hours, interviewing him about his life. It was very informal and I used the book To Our Children’s Children* as a guide for questions. At this point, I haven’t done anything with the video but, hope someday to self publish a children’s book for my grandchildren. The arrival of my grandchildren is very far off but the time will allow me to go through the videos and record my family’s history for future generations. Although this interview may seem irrelevant to my kids now I know they will appreciate it in years to come.

This holiday, when your family gets together, set up an interview station in a quiet area of the house complete with a list of questions and directions on how to turn on the video camera. Ask everyone to take some time answering the questions. Not only will you have a family history, you will have a live recording of your relatives voice and personality. What a great way to capture your family’s roots.

*To Our Children’s Children is a book to assist you in interviewing friends and family about their personal history. The book is broken down into chapters by theme such as childhood, marriage, etc. It ask questions such as ‘Who were you named for?’ or ‘When did you get your first gray hair?’ It’s a serious yet clever way to get your family to open up about their lives.

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Music to My Ears

11 Oct

Hopefully I’m not dating myself but I’m guessing you’ve heard the song, It’s My Party. I’d sing it for you but, trust me, you’d rather click here and listen to it than have me sing for you.

Today is, It’s My Party Day, and what’s a party without music. We sing song’s like Happy Birthday, For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow, and Auld Lang Syne, to celebrate events and achievements. But music is around us every day even when it’s not a holiday.

Research has told us that music is important for a child’s brain development, but music provides so much more. Music provides a closeness between parent and child; when you sing your newborn to sleep or dance together at your child’s wedding. Music teaches us history; wartime struggles, social changes, joyful experiences. We Didn’t Start the Fire, by Billy Joel packs 40 years of historical events into less than five minutes. And, introducing your child to music you love teaches them about your history.

Music encourages creativity; The Blue Man Group and The Voca People have uniquely creative musical styles. ┬áMusic helps define emotions. What teenage girl hasn’t found a song to help her through her latest heartache? Music builds reading and math skills, helps with concentration, coordination and relaxation. What more could you want?

Exposing your child to music doesn’t have to be formal. Listen to a bird’s song, the rustling of the leaves in the wind or the bang on some pots and pans. Listen for it. Music isn’t just for celebrations, it’s for every day.

For simple music you can make from foil, visit our site, Smart Mom University.

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