On the myths we tell our children, and ourselves
Jesus. Teletext. Now that makes me feel old.
It Matariki in New Zealand next week, the rising of the Pleiades star cluster - which has been a neat opportunity for me to learn about both what this is and what it means for our family.
Matariki is a time to gather with whānau (family) and friends to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future.
Here’s some info about it https://www.tepapa.govt.nz/discover-collections/read-watch-play/matariki-maori-new-year
We’ve been crafting and talking about the stories and about the individual stars that the kids hear at school and daycare this week.
Our eldest even invented a game where dad had to pretend to be tāwhirimātea (atua (god) of the weather) and knock down boxes.
It’s incredible we can go on this journey of understanding as a family as it’s a recent thing for a lot of non-Māori here.
Oh on myths from parents? I believed that eating my crusts would make my hair curl til embarrassingly late. But my my daughter has a full head of curls so I also wonder if my belief in that had something to do with it!
I remember Teletext. We used to use it all the time around 2006, when I moved in with two guys for my university studies. We didn’t have internet for two days, because the street we lived in barely had any coverage. Only one provider was available, who offered a very low bandwidth for a very high price. We decided not to take that deal.
We had a TV, but we were only able to get a few channels with an antenna. If you held it in the correct position, you were able to get some service. We very crazy about football, so we checked all results on Teletext. If you missed one, you had to wait a few minutes for the page to show up again, as the pages refreshed automatically at regular intervals.
It was weird not to have internet, since it was already so wide spread, and we had a lot of issues, but we still had fun. We spent time together all the time, we weren’t looking at our phones, since smart phones weren’t wide spread yet. Those were the days.
"believe it or not" we didnt have to worry about school shootings back then. I'll take those days over any now.
I grew up Christian, and your sentiments about mythology are exactly how I view my relationship towards religion these days - stories that help us understand and navigate this life. It’s lovely to hear it from your voice. Thanks for the post!
Explaining to my then 4 year old how cable television worked was probably the hardest part of parenting so far. I could never get into explaining rentals until he’s a grown adult 😂
The comment about mixing play dough is the truest thing I’ve ever read.
Thanks for this -- fun read!
Hi, Kevin! I do love myths, tales, lore and so do my kids! My middle child, who is 6, constantly asks me to tell her a tale about The Lord of the Rings (which she has not watched due to her age), or the world of Harry Potter (ditto), or about the Crystal Gems (Steven Universe, much recommended), or from Narnia (I've read the first book to her), or about Helen and the war of Troy, or about the Orishá Oxóssi, or about the great Goddess Gaia (her namesake) or the ellusive Artemis (her sister's)...
We are naturally drawn to stories and I find that these myths keep the wonder alive in our worlds.
By the way, there is a great substack called Classical Wisdom: https://classicalwisdom.substack.com/ I thought of recommending it to anyone who is a fan of "The Classics", Greek Mythology and history
Wow. This one went out without a final proofread in my inbox, due to some strange thing happening in the Substack dashboard. Hopefully there aren't too many typos in here!