Sunday, December 21, 2008

Eight crazy nights (for the first candle)

Chanukah begins tonight, and my girls do not need any more of the kind of gifts that come with wrapping paper. They will be lovingly spoiled by their extended relatives, and don’t forget that one is two weeks past a birthday and the other is only five weeks from a birthday. So M and I aren’t buying them anything this holiday. M and I weren't buying them anything. That's been our past policy. But that M - did I ever tell you I married a real softie? He worried about the message the girls would interpret from receiving gifts from everyone except us. So we bought one small gift for each girl.

What is the point of blogging? What is the point of parenting, for that matter? I want to give my girls something. I want to give them so many things. Mostly, I want to teach them how to navigate this world.

So much of why I write here is for me. But always in my mind is that this ultimately is for them, that one day they’ll read through their lives from their mother’s perspective. With that weighty opportunity I’m giving them this Chanukah just words in the electronic world to serve as guideposts for the physical one.

Inspired in part by this and this, I’ll be posting eight strings of pearls of wisdom. Call them: wishes; dreams; instructions; hopes; nudges. Call them: admonitions; pontifications. Call them: Mama wants more than almost anything to be around forever for you; call them: just in case. Call them: I love fantasizing about the Future Yous, the Each of You. Call them: I hope those Yous are magnificent women. I want those Yous to be admirable women. I want to want Yous to be women I’d want for friends. Call them: these are the things I want to tell you, in case I ever forget to tell you. Call them: I love you, and this is my gift. Happy Chanukah.

1. Listening is an art. Be a good listener.

2. Start a conversation with the quiet one, with the shy one, with the lonely one, with the benchwarmer.

3. Remember people’s names.

4. Remember birthdays and anniversaries.
5. Call or send a note to let people know you’ve remembered their special days. They’ll feel loved, and happy.

6. Be strong.

7. Be compassionate.

8. Be generous.

9. Vote.

10. Remember your family history.
11. Know how you got here and why, and appreciate this country.
12. Contribute to society. Pin It