This Thanksgiving week, throughout the United States, people gather to give thanks for the blessings in their lives. They give thanks for their families, their health, and the food that graces their tables. Of course, I am thankful for the many blessings we have, and we have many. I am also grateful for a family that tolerates my storytelling. While I try to resist, I can’t help but talk about family history during our Thanksgiving meal and other times we gather together to break bread. They try very hard not to let their eyes glaze over as I regale them with the most recent tidbits of information I have found about one of their ancestors. It is the stories behind the who, what, when, and where that make Genealogy interesting.
Through the years, my oldest grandson, Jake, has come to love history. In the beginning, his love of history focused on World War II. While not my cup of tea, I was thankful that he showed an interest in something besides video games. While at college, he decided to become a teacher. I recall at one of our family dinners, his younger sister saying, “I don’t know why you want to be a teacher. All you do is yell at us,” implying that he most likely would yell at his students.
Fast forward to today. Jake is in his second year of teaching in elementary school, K-8. His favorite subject, history. He is so new to his work that his excitement comes through when he tells us about his teaching history to his students. He wants to make history fun and does this by bringing stories about our family into the curriculum. I hope he never becomes jaded like some teachers. And, perhaps through his enthusiasm for history and connecting it to personal family history, he is creating future genealogists.
As I mentioned, I have much for which to be thankful. I have interesting ancestors, as does my husband. And while Jake may have yelled at his younger siblings, I know he doesn’t yell at his students. Jake, no doubt, is a great teacher who wants to instill his love for history into his young pupils. And lastly, I am thankful for this young man who has agreed to be the keeper of my family research after I am gone. Who can ask for more?