Saturday, September 19, 2015

Coming to terms with the fact that 99.99% of your ancestors are dead

Tonight I made egg-a-hok for the family (eggs with green onion). To us, it's a Norwegian dish brought across the ocean and the plains by my great-great grandparents who, oddly enough for Norwegians, were born in Sweden and died in Tooele, Utah. I tried to instill in Princess the appropriate family pride in making her great-great-great grandmother's recipe.

She asked the question that was most obvious to her: Where does great-great-great grandma live? This was in preparation for asking when we can go visit her.

She doesn't. She's dead, Jim.

Princess has always taken it very hard when she learns about (new-to-her) family members who are already dead. For months after we visited great-grandma Elzinga's grave - whom she only met as an infant - she would break into sudden weepage and pray for when Jesus would come with the Resurrection so she could see great-grandma again.

The questions came fast and furious. We proceeded to have a long and detailed family history lesson on the fact that Princess has two grandmothers, one great-grandmother, and one grandfather left in the whole world.

Then she hoped that Superstar had additional grandparents that she didn't, and maybe she could claim them. No such luck.

This was apparently news to Superstar too. He and Princess kept trying to go further back in hopes of finding one still alive somewhere. "What about great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-[greatx10]-grandfathers?"

They're all dead, son. You have only one grandfather, and that's Pop.

Then of course it was time to remind them the story of family naming. Once upon a time, there was a man named Derrill who had a son. He didn't want to have a Junior, so he named his son Derrin....

Superstar interrupted a narrative I KNOW I've told him half a dozen times. "Is Pop your son!? Are you Pop's Dad?"

No, son. I am not my own grandpa.

(For the record, the egg-a-hok was a raging success among the under-5 and over-30 crowd.)