My middle boys (Edward - age 7 and Louis - age 5) love to hear stories of when they were little.
Louis’ absolute favorite story to request is about when he was born. We tell him about how his birth happened rapidly. Even the doctors weren’t prepared when he decided to make his grand entrance, so latex gloves flew across the delivery room and there was lots of urgent shouting. One doctor was so clueless about my file that he thought we were expecting a girl – and hesitantly informed us that we had actually just given birth to a baby boy. Uh yeah, we were anticipating one of those…
But Louis’ absolute favorite part of the story is when Chance was holding our brand-spanking-new boy. Chance began talking to Louis and telling him who we were and how long we had waited for him (because the process of having Louis took significantly longer than the process of actually delivering him!) Chance and Louis were exchanging a tender moment when all of a sudden, Louis pooped down the front of Chance’s dress shirt.
Of course, as a five year old, any story containing poop is a great one, but with the proper sound effects and horrified facial expressions, this story could entertain for hours.
Edward’s most-requested story is when Chance and I first saw his adoption profile photo. He mostly just likes to hear us talk about how cute he was and how the profile specifically mentioned his long eye lashes brushing the inside lens of his glasses.
He also likes to hear about when we were in Latvia for almost a month as we adopted him – we stayed in an apartment located up seven flights of stairs. One day my dad put Edward down at the bottom of the steps. I put 13-month-old Louis down next to him. The boys proceeded to climb every single stair. They crawled their way to our apartment, constantly keeping an eye on the other. Neither boy wanted to give up, as long as the other was still climbing.
These are a few of the stories we tell in our home.
You might read those stories and just think they are sweet memories. But I read them and see even more.
Louis was a long-awaited baby who brought us so much joy and laughter in the midst of pain. His existence in our family has always been messy (but thankfully not always quite so gross…)
And yes, Edward was adorable in his adoption profile. His eyelashes and glasses are what initially drew us to his picture. Because of those attributes catching our attention, he is now our forever son.
And those boys who climbed seven flights of stairs pushing each other along the way? They continue to push one another daily. They work together to read books, draw pictures, build worlds, and defeat bad guys. They have grown into pseudo twins, best friends, and true brothers.
Storytelling has the power to surface what’s important.
As we reflect back and tell our boys stories in the car or over dinner, we don't dwell on the unimportant things like what the weather was like or what shoes we were wearing. We focus on how we felt. We tell the triumphs and the losses. We share what we learned and how we grew.
And that’s how I plan to use this space. I miss the art of reflecting through storytelling. Blogging helped me focus on feelings. It recorded our family’s triumphs and our losses. And through the telling of our stories, I have learned and grown.
As I begin writing again and sharing our stories, I anticipate growth again. And maybe you, dear reader, will learn alongside my family as well. I know much can be learned when we share with one another, so again, I’ll tell the stories.