It’s Not Stuff; It’s Stories

My parents have moved to town!  It’s a long, whirlwind story, but the happy ending is that this week they moved into a house less than ten minutes from ours, and now my children have both sets of grandparents living close.

If that sort of thing seems normal to you, then you probably can’t understand how this feels to me.  Three quick pieces of information for important context: 1. I grew up moving every year or two and never lived in the same town as my own grandparents, and 2. I went to college halfway across the country from home and then married someone local, and 3. We proceeded to move to Argentina, where we lived for nearly a decade and where I birthed two of our three children.

Needless to say, I never, ever envisioned a life in which my children would grow up around all of their grandparents. Sometimes, life just gives you those unexpected bonuses. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Cut to this weekend, to my kids helping Gramma unpack in her new house.  I was upstairs moving boxes of books to and fro, and when I came down, there were all three kids on the floor with my mom, beautiful tea cups and glassware on every available surface, having the time of their lives.


“Tell your mom what you just told me,” Gramma said to my son.

In classic kid fashion, he was too squirmy to respond, so it was up to Gramma.

“He just said, “Hey, this isn’t really about the stuff.  This is really about the stories.”


These are the moments you can’t plan for.  But oh, when they come.

Every tea cup has a story.  Every nick-knack is a reminder of someone, of something, of some time.

Each little treasure they unwrapped was a double treasure, an object of beauty and also a little glimpse into their Gramma’s long and fascinating life.  (Not so very long, Mom, only long to them.)


These stories are all around us every day.  The things that fill our homes, that sit on our shelves, that hang on our walls.  They are artifacts, stories just waiting to be told.

When was the last time you let your kids in on their secrets?

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