Until certain extent we all have fragile places in the past, whether it is an event in childhood, teens or young adulthood. Even though some pieces of the past are best forgotten, the past is the root of our present life. It supports us while we’re growing up. My past is the reason why I live a life I am having now. When I take time to look back on my life I find clues to how I became the woman I am today. It’s all like puzzle pieces waiting for me to put together. Every year my life is added with experiences which shapes my today beliefs and behaviours. By recognising the selves I have ever been, I begin to understand myself better, and to know there are others I have yet to become.
Raising mix-culture children away from home
I am now a wife of a foreign man, a mother of two mix culture children, and a woman who had been away from home for a while. My past was (and the biggest part still is) a mystery to my own children who don’t have a very strong connection to my root. My childhood isn’t related to theirs. We are differed by culture. To my children my childhood stories is a series of tales which are too foreign for their imagination.
I have been living with my husband and my children in different places and only until recently it was always away from my home country. I had helped my children to learn about new cultures and at the same time I tried my best to teach them mine. My job was not perfect but in my experience it wasn’t an easy task when your are away from home, away from all supports you could get from family, relatives, and friends. And as a learner myself in new places I found it was even harder to be consistent.
Collecting old memories
Recently, I have been taking extra time to collect my old memories for my children. There are of course too many stories which clump together into certain events like school days, family tragedy, relationships, new homes and other similar life-changing events. Of course I don’t always have the right moments to tell them stories. In fact, I don’t think I need to set a special time to get their attention for ‘story telling’.
So I grabbed my journals. I break my stories down in whatever way makes sense for me, and hopefully for them. Then I just scribbled down what came in mind. It was a very interesting process as suddenly the memories dropped from my brain on to my journal like the rain. It started with some drops, continued with drizzles and suddenly poured down. It added up very quick. The collection is random. But it doesn’t matter. My children do not need dates. They just need the missing pieces to complete the puzzles of their mom’s past.
Reading those journals is definitely not on my children’s current priority. But on some rainy days I might read it for them while sipping hot chocolate. If not, I am sure one day they will be happy to find a source where they can get some information about who their mother really was.
Just a tip:
I use three journals with different time frame:
- Birth till End of Elementary School
- Middle School and High School life
- Life after school.