Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Promise Me

There is a song out about "if I die young."  I'm not a fan of the song- mostly because I don't think I've even listened to it all the way through. 

But it planted a seed.  I was standing on my deck on Sunday night and I was enjoying fireworks off in the distance.  It was a professional display done as part of a symphony show at a nearby museum/park.

As I stood there, watching fireworks, I started to think about how excited I get about certain things and how those things don't seem to mean nearly as much to Jeff.  Not because there is something wrong with him- we just get excited about different things.

So if something should happen to me, I thought it would be good to write down some of those little things that I want my kids to cherish as they grow up.  It's not a complete list by any means.

Fireworks.  I was once told that fireworks displays are blown up for holidays because we are supposed to remember the great battles in our country's history.  The booms of the fireworks represent cannons and gun fire and the bright flashes represent the flash of the artillery.  I don't know if there is anything historically accurate to that or not but it crosses my mind every time I watch fireworks.  Personally, I just love the colors and the sparkles and the magic of bright bursts of color in the night sky.  I want my kids to always have a sense of awe and beauty when they see fireworks.

Rainbows.  I get really excited when I see a rainbow.  Not like the whacked out dudes in circulating You Tube videos.  But it's that sense of awe and wonder at something so naturally beautiful and special.  When my kids see a rainbow, I want them to remember to take a moment, to pause and just enjoy beauty and nature.

Sushi.  It's not limited to just sushi.  For me, going out for sushi means time with friends, time to connect.  Sushi isn't typically a meal that I rush through or eat alone.  I want my children to have special meals or events that connect them to their friends and family.  Maybe it's sushi, maybe it's fondue.  I want them to be open to unique food celebrations and experiences.

Other cultures.  Along that same line, I want my kids to grow up outside of the bubble.  Of course I want them to be safe and protected.  But I also want them to see the beauty in other cultures and lifestyles.  I want them to see that people are people and that diversity opens up your world in amazing ways. 

Volunteer work.  While I may do a lot to donate to causes important to me, I don't do as much volunteer work as I used to and I sometimes regret that.  However, I also know that I'm doing the work I'm intended to do at this time in my life.  I want my kids to know that food pantries, humane societies, and foster care are all things that are important to me in terms of causes that I feel passionate about.  I want them to find their own passions but I also want them to know what is close to my own heart.

Books. Read. Read to my kids.  Read around my kids.  I want my kids to read for pleasure.  I want my kids to love to read.  I want my kids to find escape and knowledge and creativity through books.  Make sure they read Narnia and Harry Potter and Anne of Green Gables and Lord of the Flies and Frankenstein and The Handmaid's Tale and anything written by Judy Blume or Charlaine Harris or Jennifer Weiner or Jodi Piccoult. 

Friends and family, I'm counting on you.  Promise me that if something happens to me, promise me that these are just a few of the things that are part of me that you will help pass along to my kids.  These are things that will help them to know who I was, who I am, if they grow up without me. 



♥ Braja said...

I was just thinking this morning how different my husband and I are. If I had kids I'd make the same list. But we don't. Which makes me wonder why we're together at all.......

Katherine said...

What a great idea and what a great list. I once made a list of things I really wanted to give my children for Christmas. The list had different things on it, but the idea, the hope that they have things that make them happy and things that challenge them, that hope was there.

Lynn Freeman said...

Timely post today would have been Leanne's birthday (34th if I'm not mistaken). Her 2 kids are growing up without their mommy and it still hurts my heart so much to think about that even though I keep tabs on her son through Facebook and see that they seem to be outwardly doing OK. I think more about little girls when they lose their mommies....boys always have their dads and have that special relationship with them, but I think a girl needs her mom - for so many things in life. I think it's so important to think about the things you just did and to express what you want should anything ever happen to you before they're adults. We all say "that would never happen to me" or "that's unlikely" and don't pay much attention. But you and I both know, through what happened with Leanne, that life can turn on a dime. And stuff like this matters.

Jessica Nunemaker from little Indiana said...

I so relate to this.

Also? I agree with you on ALL of those book choices...except Stephen King's "The Long Walk," John Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley," and Charles Dickens "David Copperfield" will also appear on my list. I <3 classics. There's more than that but those are the books that I reread often.

I think about that, too. It's part of the reason I have been putting recipes on little Indiana.

If anything happens to me, there's a place hubs could turn to and find our family favorites--and a reminder of the good thing we had going and why he needs to KEEP going!

Rebecca said...

I really like this post and as soon as I come off my caffeine high, I might try to make a post that is similar......I had about 5 cups of coffee today

Julee said...

Love this Liz! A while back, in blogland, there was this same kinda thing (sorta) called "100 Things About Me" but I like your short descriptions, as well!