All through my childhood my parents would take me and my siblings on a two-and-a-half-hour trek to Ogdensburg, NY to visit our relatives. On those visits, without an agenda, it was common for my extended family to tell stories of local events, people, and places. Unknowingly these stories where linking me to my ancestors and helping me create a narrative about my family and my place in the world.
It was no surprise to me when I found out a few years ago that children with a strong understanding of their family history are also more likely to have a healthy self-esteem. Now with two kids of my own and living on the opposite side of the country from where any of my family history took place, and far from any of the people that can speak of the past, it’s important to devote time to unearthing my family narrative with my children.
Seattle is chock-full of transplants, such as myself, living thousands of miles from their extended family and hometowns. Transplants walk a fine line of calling Seattle home for the sake of their children while also giving their children a connection to the places they come from. The family narrative can be the balancing act of both worlds.