There is no talk of blueberries in my family - well, at least not without mentioning the blueberry incident. Eyes twinkle, hands rub together gleefully, posture adjusted to lean in a moment to hear the tale retold.
Its not much of a story, yet every time I lower my eyes, squirm a bit, and blush appropriately. But in truth, I have grown accustomed to this tale. I'd probably miss it if they failed to tell the story.
We grew up on a farm. We had a goat.
One morning when I was three or four, I was outside playing when I burst back into the house exclaiming,"Mommy, I need a bucket!"
"Well, ok," she says, "But why do you need a bucket?"
"Theres blueberries all over the yard!"
Never has any child been quite so ecstatic over goat turds.
Fast forward fourteen years to my high school graduation. Right before the actual graduation ceremony there was a religious ceremony, a kind of blessing for the graduates, and I was one of the speakers.
I stood beside Pastor Lee as he was introducing me to the standing room only crowd. As he spoke I started to understand that he was leading up to a story, a story he got from my mom, a story that, as he said, "Illustrates [my] exuberance and lust for life," a story about mistaking goat turds for blueberries.
Then it was my turn to speak...
Its interesting to me how the laughter over the tale, the pre-emptive giggles, surpass the actual humor in the story. Yet still it has value as one of the stories that hold us together, make us a family. Our family story a weave of a multitude of little stories with a few big stories to give shape and context to the rest.
What about you? What little and big stories have been woven into the culture of your family? What story embarrasses you every time you hear it, but if they didn't tell it, you'd miss it?
Go to your blogs, run, skedaddle. Write your story then leave a link here in the comments so that we can all go read your story and laugh with/at you.