New Stories · 28 December 2007

I guess that I need some new stories. Or at least, my kids think that I need new ones to tell at the dinner table. After all, I have told them about when I peeked at a Christmas present (No Peeking). They know how bad of a joke teller I am (Telling Jokes and Genetics). And they live with me so they hear about my childhood and see all my foibles on a day to day basis. I guess that I really do need new stories but then again, having three boys means that I have lots of opportunities to get new ones. I just do not need to tell them the stories because they are the ones living them.

At school, I tell the same stories to make a point. On the first day of school each year, I tell my students about my brother telling his sixth grade teacher that she could not tell him he must respect her. I tell this story so that they understand that like anybody else, I need to earn respect. Then during the year I talk about how I used to be a youth leader and worked as an engineer. I tell this story so that they understand that they need to find their passions in life and follow their hearts. I tell them that they need not be afraid of change if they find that their career was not what they thought it would be. My students who have me for more than one year tolerate hearing the stories more than once because they like what they are doing in my class even if I tell the same old stories each year.

My own kids do not let me get away with telling the same story twice. If I were a comedian who said, “Stop me if you have heard this one,” my kids would be like Wile E. Coyote and have stop signs they pulled out from behind their backs before I even finished the sentence. As it is, they tend to finish the story with, “And you ruined your Christmas, blah, blah, blah,” or whatever the appropriate ending for the story is. I do not know how my dad got away with telling the same jokes twice. I guess we must not have remembered his jokes. Well, I know that I never did. At least not the setup and punch line of the same joke.

I guess that it is a good thing that my kids are gatekeepers of my story telling. They get to tell their stories at the dinner table instead of having to listen to mine. And since I do not get to tell my stories during dinner, I tend to write them down. I am not the raconteur and joke teller that my father is but I can tell a story on paper. Or at least, I like to think I can.

I love to tell stories. At school, I can tell the same ones over and over each year. But my kids are right. I need to have new stories. Both for them and for the real and imaginary readers of my column. Fortunately, I have more new stories than I could ever write. Each day is a new story. Each day is a new adventure. I just need to figure out which ones to write down and share with the world and which ones to share at the dinner table with my kids.

© 2007 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Published 28 February 2008 in The RiverCurrentNews


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