Every day, it seems, I text members of my family with little stories about what my two-year-old son is up to.
Well, because they’re cute stories, for one. But in each little vignette that I share, a deeper purpose is at work.
Sharing these life stories – some of them mere touching moments – communicates to my family how my son (someone very near and dear to them) is growing, and how we as a family are interacting.
I treasure these stories, to knit our own chain of memories together as a family that is learning and growing together. But I also cherish them as ways to stay connected to people who, although close to me in spirit, are geographically distant from us as these wonders big and small unfold.
This morning, I tripped on a shoe and tumbled completely over – down to the ground, onto my face. My son, who witnessed the fall from atop the bed, immediately said, “Oh, are you okay? Do you need some help?”
I shared the incident with my husband, my parents and my in-laws.
What was the value in sharing? To gain sympathy for the fact that I had fallen?
Of course not. I shared the story to show these people what our little boy is learning, to give them a glimpse into his compassionate and caring heart. Where did he learn to ask those questions? Where did he learn how to show his concern? He is becoming his own little person, and I want my world to know that.
Stories have meaning. If we can learn to interact with people beneath the “How was your day” or “What’s the weather like” level, we can learn a whole lot more about ourselves and others.
Sharing stories is not just about making conversation. It’s about being real, both with others and with ourselves.