I think back to my years growing up. and I can only remember a handful of material possessions. A pink teddy bear, a wooden rocking chair, an old pot. And in truth, I have two of those items still. The material items are not what I recall.
But the legacies? That is what lingers in my mind. The quiet, clean country home my father built from scratch around us. The dusty driveway my brother and I rode our bikes up and down throughout the spring. I remember when that little blue box of macaroni and cheese only came out as a treat. I remember homemade curtains, a kitty cuddled by the front door, a garden in the back yard that always yielded plenty of tomatoes and green beans.
Christmases around a real tree. Toads in the font yard. Deer in the driveway early in the mornings. The radio playing in my father’s workshed. An old kite that was stuck in a tree for years. Ghost stories late at night. The smell of woodsmoke. Homemade cotton sundresses. Bare feet. My dad and brother playing the guitar. Fresh fish and potatoes. Sunlight streaming in the many windows of our bright yellow kitchen. Reading by the light of the hallway (until I got caught).
A grove of trees that we spent hours and hours exploring. A playhouse with an upstairs. Jumping in puddles in the rain. My mother’s delicious homemade lasagna and chocolate chip cookies. Rushing past the windows in the dark, always afraid of what might be outside. Fresh air from the cracked windows in the spring.
These are the things I remember. These are the legacies my childhood has left me with. So many joyous, pleasant memories. I strive every day to provide my daughter with the same experiences in our quiet home.
Someday, when she looks back, I pray she recalls fresh bedsheets, homemade bread, warm quilts and hot chocolate, bedtime stories, prayers at the foot of the bed, a pot of soup always simmering, hours spent at the library, bible reading around the dinner table, playing Lego with Daddy, garden fresh veggies, grass between her toes.
I hope she remembers journals and diaries, late night talks with Mommy, warm mugs of tea, cheerful songs on the radio, weekends with grandparents, fun Daddy dates, lazy Sunday afternoons, homework around the kitchen table.
So many aspirations and so many joyous memories to leave. Raising children is not about buying toys and clothes, it’s not about obsessing over schools and playgroups. It’s not about proper manners and being the all-star mommy. It’s about so much opportunity to create legacies. Today is a wonderful time to start.
What will you do today to leave a legacy?
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