I held my first born son in my arms for the first time almost 6 years ago. I was amazed, inspired, in love, and scared. What did I know about being a father? I hadn’t taken a course in school on the subject (O.K. sex ed… but everything I learned there had been the cause of my son). As far as I know there was no boy scout merit badge for fatherhood, (though the first-aid merit badge has proven to be quite useful). I was just a man who had become a father and realized that I had a lot to learn and I needed to do it quickly.
The unique relationship between you and your child(ren) has never occurred so no one can give you everything you need to know… you have to go out and do it. You are like a first person narrator in a tragic, dramatic, and comedic story. The narrative unfolds as you create it. That is why I named this blog DadStory.
Storytelling is a fundamental part of human existence. Humans have been telling each other stories since the dawn of time. In-fact we are all writing our story everyday. In this web culture that we find we are writing our stories in a more personal way than ever through blogs, social networks, youtube, etc… We are not waiting for scholars to write about us, we are just putting it out there live and in technicolor. What an awesome development this is.
I love stories, in-fact my favorite time with my children is when I sit down and read stories with them. I think that this is one of things I do best as a father. Passing on wisdom from one generation to the next is often done through the medium of storytelling. Consider the following examples :
There once was a shepherd boy who was bored as he sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, “Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the sheep!” The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they arrived at the top of the hill, they found no wolf. The boy laughed at the sight of their angry faces. “Don’t cry ‘wolf’, shepherd boy,” said the villagers, “when there’s no wolf!” They went grumbling back down the hill. Later, the boy sang out again, “Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!” To his naughty delight, he watched the villagers run up the hill to help him drive the wolf away. When the villagers saw no wolf they sternly said, “Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong! Don’t cry ‘wolf’ when there is NO wolf!” But the boy just grinned and watched them go grumbling down the hill once more. Later, he saw a REAL wolf prowling about his flock. Alarmed, he leaped to his feet and sang out as loudly as he could, “Wolf! Wolf!” But the villagers thought he was trying to fool them again, and so they didn’t come. At sunset, everyone wondered why the shepherd boy hadn’t returned to the village with their sheep. They went up the hill to find the boy. They found him weeping. “There really was a wolf here! The flock has scattered! I cried out, “Wolf!” Why didn’t you come?” An old man tried to comfort the boy as they walked back to the village. “We’ll help you look for the lost sheep in the morning,” he said, putting his arm around the youth, “Nobody believes a liar…even when he is telling the truth!” – FromStoryArts.org
“Thou shalt not bear false witness.”
Of the two examples above which is more likely to persuade you not to lie? Each comes from a great tradition of moral education, but without context and background the second lacks persuasiveness.
Story provides the context for life’s lessons. They are vehicles through which we can understand and relate to one another.
This post though titled “My DadStory” is not in fact my “DadStory” it is the opening verse in a lifelong tale. I hope you will follow along and perhaps share your stories as well.