Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Larger Families: My Legacy

It's been a while since I posted over at Larger Families, and I've been missing it! Today, I answered the question: "Pick three words that describe the type of mother you want to be remembered as (nurturing, loving, hard-working, encouraging, good at all things domestic, etc.) and why. Are you currently living up to your ideal description?" Here's my response...

The three things I most want my children to remember me as aren’t single words, but phrases and ideas...

Dorothy Canfield Fisher once said: “A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.” I’d like for my children to remember me as a pillar of strength who taught them how to be strong men and women who make and stand by their good choices, self starters who can figure out how to navigate through life.

In her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road, Zora Neal Hurston wrote: “Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at de sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.” When my kids are adults, I want them to remember me as optimistic and confident -- as someone who “jumped at the sun” and encouraged them to do the same at every opportunity.

One of my all-time favorite books as a child was Cheaper By the Dozen, the autobiographical story of the Gilbreth family, written by two of the family’s 12 kids. It wasn’t until I was much older that I could really appreciate the dedication: "To Father, who had only twelve children, and to Mother, who had twelve only children.” I’d like my children to remember me as a mother who treated each one of them as if they were the most important -- all at the same time. I don’t know that there’s one adjective to describe that (maybe one of my kids will make one up) but, whatever that word is, if they use it to describe me, I will be a very happy mom!

Read more of my Larger Families blog here, and take a moment to find out how other moms of many answered the question!

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