One of my kids gave me a book to fill out that asks all sorts of questions that our kids might one day wonder about. Often times, they don’t wonder about our lives prior to the kids until we’re gone. So, this book asks the questions now and you fill out the book for the kids to read when they’re finally curious. Some of the questions are odd, some are really hard to answer, and some bring back great memories that we should make a point to tell the kids.
You don’t have to have a book. You can just answer the questions and figure out how and when you want to give them to your kids. Maybe with their Christmas present? Maybe as a Christmas present?
What would you like to make sure your kids know?
I’ll share a couple of my answers.
“The twins come from Granny Grantham. And there are many of them in the family. She also gave us our height, but the strong chin comes from Grandpa Grantham. The cleft in the chin is also Grantham, but the really deep one is a Johnson deal.
“The lawyer … has my will. Get along during it. Don’t allow any problems to happen during the settling of it. If anyone causes any trouble, I swear I will come back with a 2 x 4 and use it on them. Our parents don’t owe us what they’ve earned. It is theirs to give as they wish. As parents we need to teach our children how to work and how to be responsible and of good character. Girls and boys. That is a parent’s job, not giving their kids everything they want and catering to them.
“Know with a certainty deep within your heart that your dad and I loved one another when we brought you into this world and that when we met each of you, we found ourselves loving you guys even more. We weren’t perfect, aren’t perfect, but we love our children. It does not matter that you’re different than we imagined. It does not matter that life happens and we all countless times show our fickle humanness. We love you and I will always love your dad for giving me you guys and for being partners in raising you to the best we could. You four are our opus and we know this.
“Start each day with something that makes you happy. I love my coffee and when I take that first drink, it is full – on a drink of happiness. Nobody should have to start their day with a grouch. If that is you, have someone knock you upside the head. There are probably several who are wanting to.
“Nobody is responsible for your happiness except you. Nor are there others who you can blame your unhappiness on. You have decided to be unhappy. It is all on you, if you are.
“Save some money every month unless you want to work until the day you die. Most of the things we buy we don’t care about in a month. Remember that. Get a grip on the difference between a want and a need.
“Lie in bed at the end of each day and thank God for each of the blessings he brought to you that day. Don’t treat God like a sugar daddy, always asking for favors – end each day thanking him. And start each day inviting him to be with you.
“Remember, if you talk about other people – they have a right to talk about you. So, let’s try our best to just say positive things about people – or stay away from them.
“Always, when something bothers you about someone – take an honest look at yourself because you likely do / say the same things. Judge ourselves by the same standards as we judge others. If you do this honestly, and look at yourself with truth, you should find yourself being more kind to others. “Pay attention to other people. Don’t assume you know them, what they have, what they want. Buying a gift for someone because it is something you want for yourself is shallow. Not buying something someone wants because you don’t agree may be egotistical and judgemental – but, then, we shouldn’t gift things that are bad for someone, so just be reasonable. Gifts should not be a game changer in a relationship, things are not as important as people.
“Never miss a chance to tell someone thank you. There is never too much appreciation shown.
“Learn something new every day so your conversation is never boring. Your opinions aren’t good conversation. People are drawn to those who tell entertaining and SHORT stories or who talk positive about other people. “One time, Missy (my daughter) had a birthday dinner for Nate Leota (an OPSU football player). She invited Nate’s friends Nick, Jessica, and Neptune. She invited me – maybe because I would give Nate a ride? The meal was crazy good and very time consuming to make. And talk about consuming – those boys can consume! Missy and I posted pictures of the evening on Facebook. Lisa (my other daughter) saw them and promptly told her sister that she would have liked to have been there, that it hurt her feelings she hadn’t been invited.
“There are several reasons I tell this story. First, the fact that Missy and Cody gave that evening to Nate says so much of what I love about life. Share. Give. Be a blessing to others.
“The second part is Lisa’s reaction. She wanted to be a part and she had her feelings hurt. Rather than have her feelings fester (which makes for unhappy and bitter people who are no fun to be around), she promptly told Missy. She didn’t whine and complain to other people, she talked to Missy. “Missy listened. Missy told Lisa why she kept the invites low and life went on. Neither took it personal. Neither held a grudge. Neither put anyone else in the middle. It didn’t affect the family. It didn’t make Sunday lunch uncomfortable. In fact, some jokes were made about it.
“This is healthy. This is family. This is who we are. If you’re an adult, this is how an adult should act. Mature. Not spiteful. Not hateful. Not making division.
“We will be disappointed by each other all the time, over and over. Don’t let these disappointments poison your soul and, ultimately, the family. Accept and forgive and the same acceptance and forgiveness will be granted to you when it is needed. You were not born to agree upon everything. You were born to love one another. Period.
“We are wonderful and unique … just like everyone else!”
If you’re inclined, write what you want your family to know about you and want’s important to you. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Just put your ideas down and share with them. If you want to ….
See you on the bricks!