Two of my grandchildren are here for the night, and one great-niece. Love having young people in my home. Makes me feel not so old!
I met them for dinner, and as we were preparing to leave the restaurant, a waiter almost bumped into me. He would have knocked me over. My 11 year old grandson, without a second thought, shot his hand out to grab my arm and with his other hand, guided the waiter away from me. I’m glad I didn’t fall, but his simple act of kindness touched me dearly.
It made me think of the family legacy all parents leave, whether we are intentional about it or not. My children were taught to say yes ma’am and no sir, to open doors for anyone else older than them, to pull a chair out for a woman, and to respect themselves so they would be deserving of respect.
We used to frequent antique and craft fairs when my children were little. I never thought twice about taking them with me. The rule: put your hands in your pocket and don’t touch anything without asking. They went everywhere with me, and I can honestly say, they were a joy to be around. I miss our days of bumming around with no particular purpose.
Now I am privileged to see that my children are raising their children with the same values and morals they knew as a child. I am blessed.
However, I wish I could say the same for some of the kids I see at ball games and school activities. It surprises me to see so many young people yelling obscenities at their parents, or just ignoring the instructions of their parents. The parents sit there, disengaged in their technology, or unsure as to how to react.
I made many mistakes as a parent. I wish I could do so many things over again. But hindsight does not erase the past and change only affects the future. It is with the thought of the future that I urge parents to consider the history they are leaving their children. Children need boundaries and rules. It helps them learn to function in adult society. We are always teaching the young people around us, whether actively making choices and setting examples, or inactively by not participating.
Be aware of your legacy. Be present. Be active. Be someone others can look up to. Be.