I swept the PQ household floor this morning and scooped up a piece from a toy from Christmas past. A small remnant from the days when the Quills were small and the toys were real, interactive and imaginative. A missing piece was easily replaced by imagination. Fast forward to Christmas present when “Mom, have you seen the iPad?” is answered in solace of my mind with “yes, it’s where I hid it last” and out loud with “where have you looked? Can’t find it, too bad, go outside and play in the snow.” That’s the beauty of stories and memories. Pieces are lost, details fade, but imagination can fill in the details. Stories have permanence and a fluidity; they anchor us to our past while setting us free to explore our future.
The littlest Quill just finished the wonderful story Number the Stars recounting a Dutch family’s part in resisting Nazi occupation and saving their Jewish neighbors. Coincidentally, his long lost Lego replacements arrived in the mail and he could once again construct and deconstruct the world. While he had made due without the parts for weeks prior, improvising along the way, there was one essential part needed for building his Technic set. As he danced around the living room in excitement upon the package’s arrival, he paused momentarily when he noticed they had been shipped from Holland. “That’s where Number the Stars happened.” Lego building commenced, and I smiled to myself when I overheard a Lego man being instructed to “hide here where the soldiers won’t find you”. One piece connecting him to the past and informing him on a future where he has learned to sacrifice himself for the good of others.
What are your family stories that connect you to the past?