My older daughter attends preschool three days a week. Tuesday is a non-school day so we were looking for something to do. In an attempt to avoid some house work, I suggested we go on a genealogy adventure to Colma. San Francisco does not have any cemeteries inside the city limits. Most people who live in San Francisco are buried just south of the city in the town of Colma. My husband’s side has many family members buried in three of the cemeteries there.
I was immediately bombarded with “why” questions from my daughter. It was the first time in many months that I was excited to answer several hundred why questions. We talked about why there are cemeteries, who is in them, the gravestones, and how each of the people are related to us.
I tried to keep things simple such as “You have two grandmas. Daddy’s Grandma Shirley also had two grandmas. We are going to visit both of Grandma Shirley’s grandmas.” This description worked better than “This is your great-great-great-grandma.”
We kept is fun. J did a bunch of rubbings at one cemetery. She picked the little weed flowers at another to make a tiny bouquet for our gravestone. We used each gravestone as a letters quiz. (Can you find an E?) J also acted as my photo shoot director. At the Pope family plot, she would ask who was at each headstone and then tell me we needed a picture of them.
My little one is only a year old. M had fun on our adventure too. She wanted to touch each gravestone we passed. I was cracking up because it looked like she was playing Duck, Duck, Goose. Anything outdoors makes her happy.
It was a great day! I taught my kids some family history, photographed some headstones that I was missing in my collection, and enjoyed a beautiful day outside. I still had to clean my house but I did it with a smile thinking about the day.