Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Family History Conversation with My Granddaughter

I love this conversation I had with Little O almost a year ago when she was not yet five.  We were headed somewhere in the car with her in her car seat in the back and me at the steering wheel.

We were just chatting about this and that when she turned the conversation to families and family relationships.  Her mom had just had a baby a few weeks earlier.  She told me there were six people in her family now:  her mom and dad, her three brothers, and herself.  Little O continued, saying that "Papa" and I were her mom's mom and dad and that her other grandparents were her Dad's mom and dad. 

I asked her who else she knew in our family.  She said, "Aunt BeBe."

I asked, "How is Aunt BeBe related to you?"

I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw her little index finger pointing skyward for emphasis as she said, "Well, I do know that Aunt BeBe is my mom's aunt."

I told her, "Well, actually, Aunt BeBe is your mom's sister."

"Nooooo" she said with absolute disbelief.

"Yes," I said, "your mom is Aunt BeBe's older sister."

She was quiet for a minute as if processing this new information, trying to fit all the pieces together yet still doubting it could be correct.  Then she asked, "Who was Aunt BeBe born of?" 

"Aunt BeBe was born to me, just like your mom was born to me.  They are both my daughters, and your mom and Aunt BeBe are sisters."

Again, her response was one of disbelief.  She was quiet for a while -- a weighty topic for a girl of four -- and then moved the conversation away from family relationships.  Later that day I started to make her a little family tree chart but decided she was probably just a bit too young for it to make much sense. 

How I love that girl!  I still chuckle when I think of her confident statement, "I do know that Aunt BeBe is Mom's sister" and her mature and old-fashioned question, "Who was Aunt BeBe born of?"  What four-year-old uses that phrase these days?!  Who of any of us uses that phrase these days?!

I'm not quite sure that she has the relationship sorted out in her mind yet -- or believes it -- but she'll understand it one of these days.  Perhaps Little O will become our next family history buff.


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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Shasta. I still chuckle when I think of it, and I love the way children think.

  2. My grandbaboo is not quite 4. She is fascinated with the concept of cousins.

    1. Isn't it fun to watch the little ones develop an awareness of family and family relationships. I hope your grandbaboo has lots of cousins around to play with!


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