April 14, 2012

To The Men

This is to the men out there.  If your husband doesn't get online much, or read blogs, print it out for him.  In my genealogy searches, one resounding thing keeps coming up on the Nichols side of my family, and I see it being repeated.  No one knows much about my grandfather.  He never talked to the grandkids much.  I thought my older cousins, having more time with my grandparents, would be able to tell me what my grandfather was like as a person....no one can.  He was very quiet, kept to himself, and never shared.  My father, sadly, is the same way.

Now, here's the thing men.....we women understand the whole "male" thing: quiet, macho, protector, don't show emotion, etc.  Maybe there are some of you who are not like this, but based on my own personal experience, this is the case.

And while you need to teach your sons (and yes, even your daughters), to take care of themselves, and eventually their own families, you also need to talk to them.  Tell them about what your life was like as a child growing up.  Tell them what you know about your family's past.  Sometimes there are painful things that have happened, that could teach a lesson to that young person.  And sometimes it's just passing on where you come from.  All of it matters.

I firmly believe that part of the reason I am so stuck on my family genealogy, is because the men in my family didn't talk.  No one ever heard my great grandfather speak about his wife or the two other children they had (we found out about the unknown children on my grandfather's birth certificate).  Did he know he had siblings?  When did his mother die/disappear after he was born?  Did he know her, or miss her?

None of these questions can be answered....what was she like?  What was my great grandfather like?  Sure, I can look at documents that tell me where he was living and what he was doing for an occupation, but that doesn't tell me WHO he was.

So men, along with teaching your sons about life, teach them about oral history, and how vitally important it is.  Write down your memories of your life, if you are not comfortable talking about them.  Leave some sort of history for your children, and their children.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent, excellent, EXCELLENT advice!

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  2. Thank you Mama Pea:) I am going to have the kid's dad follow this advice hopefully, because he is like this as well :/

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