My oldest of late has started nearly incessantly asking me for stories about one of his great-great-grandmothers. I find this interesting because I've never terribly encouraged this, having only mentioned her obliquely a few times in his presence, and he doesn't know my mother all that well, having seen her only a few times given her geographic separation from him. His knowledge of my mother's mother is even more tenuous, having seen her only once, and the great-great-grandmother passed away more than a decade before he was born.
But the hunger is there for stories and to feel some sort of connection to his ancestors. I'd say the ancestor story is up there with the Bible story in terms of his favorite types. From my experience with other little ones around his age---make no mistake, it appears that pregnancy is contagious within social circles as much or more so than is divorce---this doesn't seem all that unusual. The stories don't have to be terribly unusual, or even funny, or heaven forbid, heroic to delight the little ones. I suspect that there's a lot of 'blood and soil' built into every new child---even to the extent of a fairly strong attachment to the old house we brought him home to after he was born, from which we've moved so as to have adequate space for children to play and for his second little sister to arrive. I am coming to believe this is at least part of the human 'firmware' which our present diseased society is trying like Hell to beat out of us. Hopefully it won't succeed. I don't think it will--I'm betting this impulse is at the root of ancestor worship and that's pretty perennial.
To change the culture V: metahistory
2 days ago