We weren't entirely sure how the night would go, but after the initial question, a great interview took off with a life of its own and an hour later, grandchildren were connected more fully to grandparents, children were connected to parents, and a couple of missionaries gained a little insight for their future discussions. It was a successful night.
Savannah started by asking how the Grs met, where they were married, and what their courtship was like. It was hysterical to hear Grandpa tell his version of that story and then have Grandma come in and have to make a few minor corrections.
One of the kids asked about the kinds of chores the Grs had when they were children. I was shocked to learn that my mother-in-law never had to do any chores as a child and never learned to cook because her mother was a bit of a perfectionist and didn't want anyone else to do those things. She liked her home to look a certain way and she knew that she was the best person to get the job done. She preferred not to have an additional mess in her kitchen by inviting little hands to help her. So all these years later, I have to say, I looked at my mother-in-law in a slightly different light knowing that everything she learned about being a housewife, she learned on her own. Grandpa, on the other hand, was the oldest of five boys and with two working parents, and therefore was primarily responsible for all of the housework and cooking responsibilities after school. No wonder he can vacuum and sweep better than anyone I've ever met!
We also asked the Grs about how and when they gained a testimony of the church. Grandma was very candid in her response and told the kids that she didn't attend seminary regularly and that it wasn't until after she was married and pregnant with Uncle Bret that she had a desire to gain a testimony for herself. And, as with everything else in her life, she decided to do a thing, made a plan, and went forth and did it. Grandpa told us a story about how he gained a testimony while he was on his mission. The missionaries were especially touched by their stories and instantly bonded with the grandparents after that. :)
I am so grateful to the Grs for the lives they've lived and the wisdom they are able to share with all of us. And I'm so grateful to know a little more about each of them. They may have inspired us to do this regularly!
"Many people desire to know where they come from, but a sense of belonging is especially important for children and youth. A knowledge about their family history gives children of all ages a sense of their place in the world. It can also give young people something to live up to—a legacy to respect. Family history also provides an opportunity for children and teenagers to make a meaningful contribution to something bigger than themselves.
Encourage children to talk to their living relatives, especially the older ones. Hearing stories about what life was like in the past helps young people connect to the past. This connection brings generations together and establishes strong family bonds.
Tell stories about your life and the lives of your ancestors. Young people need more than facts and dates. They need the facts and dates packaged in interesting, meaningful, and memorable ways. The best way to create an interest in family history is by telling young people stories about real people. Fill your stories with interesting information, humorous details, and unusual facts that will capture a young imagination. Sharing family stories doesn’t have to be a big event; make it a common occurrence around the dinner table, in the car, or at bedtime." - familysearch.org