My children are growing up. Fast. Too fast. I want very much for them to be good people. That's such a vague term isn't it? Good people. What does that actually mean?
I started off this year thinking not only about how I wanted to improve/ change my own life but what I wanted for my children. They are going to be gone from the nest far too soon and I want to know that they are going to be as prepared as possible for the big bad world. Only it isn't a big, bad world - not all of it anyway. Not to me. This got me thinking about how if I teach my children what it means to be a "good person" that perhaps the world wouldn't be so big and bad to them either.
You following me so far?
I thought about what it means to be a "good person" and started writing a few things down. I didn't bother to make a list of all the people I know that are good. That would simply take too long and I would certainly forget to include someone anyway. You see, I know a lot of good people in this world from all different religions, races, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. They are all very different. And yet they all share some of the same characteristics that contribute to their individual and collective goodness. **My mind was flooded with thoughts of so many kind and wonderful people and still is even as I write this post.**
My list is unique to me and I don't think I'll share it just now. However, thinking of all the different things I believe are essential to becoming or being our best selves led me to create a list of attributes/skills I think are important for me to focus on with my kids this year. Plus I want them to be able to cook more than a basic meal when they leave home.
To begin this process, I already have a good foundation. I already have great kids. I like to think Jon and I have had a little something to do with this, but in actuality they came that way. They had their personalities and their wills intact long before we were blessed to be their parents. I am grateful for that and grateful for how very different they are from one another. That one aspect is going to make this a fun process over the course of this year.
The way I decided to focus my energies was on one skill/idea and one food (type of food) per month. There are certain months that I am in school and as such I have tried to put easier skills/foods during those months. As I know my list will evolve over the year, please regard this list as a work in progress (kind-of like me).
January - Yeast bread and setting goals
February - Homemade chicken soup (soups) and finances/budgeting/ money management
March - Grains (barley, quinoa, oats, rice, wheat, etc) and growing a garden from seed
April - Muffins/ sweet breads and laundry/ironing/sewing on a button (clothing care)
May - Fresh pasta + red/ white sauces from scratch and car maintenance (checking fluids, air in tires, changing a flat, etc.)
June - Salads/ knife skills and safe use of hand and power tools/home maintenance (hammering a nail, cutting a board without losing any digits, etc.)
July - BBQ (meats, veggies, pizza, etc) and emergency preparedness/ camping skills
August - Ice creams/ sorbets and general organization + flower arranging
September - (Birthday) cakes and keeping a journal
October - Potatoes/ homemade gravy and communicating openly and honestly
November - Roasting the perfect turkey/ ham and writing thank you notes/ sincere prayer (gratitude) + how to set a formal table
December - (Sugar) cookies and wrapping a present/ giving generously (service)
This is my preliminary list but I feel pretty good about it at this point. I think I'll only post a few times a month to keep you abreast of our progress, but I appreciate all your comments on FB helping me decide what to teach and for your thoughtful and supportive comments all ready.
Spring semester begins tomorrow and I am both excited and tired already for what the next sixteen weeks will bring. My mantra for school and life these days is from Elder Wirthlin, "Come what may and love it!". I love my life. I love God. I love my family. I love learning. And I hope I can pass these sentiments on to my children, thus preparing them to look to their glorious futures prepared to be their very best selves and have a great time in the process.