Barefoot in High Heels

What I Want Them To Know . . .

Posted on: September 1, 2008

Ever since the birth of my first daughter, almost three years ago, I’ve wanted to write her a letter — you know, put it in her baby book (she’s the first-born, so she actually has a baby book!) and just have some thoughts down on paper — my feelings about becoming a mother, my unconditional love, and things I’d like for her to know.  And now that her little sister was born almost 10 months ago, I’ve had these thoughts, random bits of information, musings, etc. that I really want to get down on paper.   But let’s be honest — my “paper” will most likely be a word document created on my laptop!

Granted, amidst the daily life of a part-time working mom of two, I haven’t actually created this “letter” just yet.  But I think about it often.  And I’ve envisioned it in my head now so that it’s not simply a letter, but rather a list of things I want them to know and learn.  Maybe titled “Lessons for My Daughters,” I hope for it to be something they read as they get older — or even a gift I give them someday.

And what is it that I want my girls to know/learn/do/be?  I want them to know how much I love them, for one.  That their family is behind them one hundred percent.  I want them to be self-confident and self-aware, to explore, to learn, to find their passions, to love, to laugh, to make their own mistakes, to make a difference, to value each other as sisters.  I want them to know the importance of honesty, giving to others, sticking to their morals and ethics, standing up for themselves, education, determination, goal-setting, benevolence, compassion, kindness.  Of course, they also need to know the real important things, too — you know, like “only wear beige underwear under white clothes!”

I could write a whole book on what I want my girls to get from life and how to approach it.  But I realize also that words alone won’t do any good.  If write to them about the importance of generosity, for example, but never display in my actions how to live generously, then of course this whole letter is really for naught.  I do want to be a role model for them, in both my actions and words, although let’s admit — it’s not always the easiest thing to do.  We sometimes forget how every little action of ours is picked up by these little sponge minds and absorbed.  So as much as I hope to teach my daughters what is important, I want to have it written down for them, too.  Sort of a legacy in words, if you will.  A more personal, story-filled Life’s Little Instruction Booklet.

Lofty goals, I know!  And good intentions, too, considering I haven’t started a word of it.  But now that I’ve blogged about it, it will get me moving!  So think about it . . . what will your legacy be?  What do you want your children to know?  What lessons are important to you to pass on to your kids?

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1 Response to "What I Want Them To Know . . ."

I think all of the things you mentioned are very important to impress upon the children. In the interest of time, I will give you my more “practical” list.

1. Always send a thank you card. It takes a moment but makes a lasting impression.

2. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Sincerity is a must.

3. Keep a calendar with important birthdays, anniversaries, and events. It makes someone smile when you remember her special day.

4. Make your bed, even though you will be sleeping in it later that day. Re-setting your room re-starts your day.

5. Don’t be one of those people who always thinks it is too cold outside. Wear layers and enjoy the winter.

6. Never say, “I won’t do x,y,z when I have kids like my parents did.” You will.

7. If the book you are reading is stale, stop reading. Life is too short for bad books.

8. Know that sometimes there are no words. Be comfortable with silence.

9. But if you are going to speak, think carefully before you do so. Once you say something, you cannot take it back no matter how much you want to.

10. Avoid starting any sentence with, “I hate…” It’s an ugly word.

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