Okay, confession time! I am the “crafty one” in the family. I’m ALWAYS looking for something fun to do with my boys...partly because I want to do it, too ;-) Since I’m the “crafty one”, I also wonder if I will be forgotten on important days like Mother’s Day, my birthday, Valentine’s day. I am always hoping for something homemade from my kids (okay, they are way too young to come up with all these great ideas themselves...so I usually hope dad or a grandparent want to guide my boys into making something for me). Sometimes, I even have them (I mean, encourage them to) work on something for me. Is that sick or what?!
So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I will share a fun idea with you that I stumbled across last year. I't something you can do to put a smile on your face as a mom - an interview you do with your child that has opened ended questions (as in...finish the sentence). I did it with my then 3 1/2 year old and loved the result so much that I repeated it for Father’s Day (see, I share the love and homemade goodness with others!). You can get a great list of such questions on Let's Explore or you can come up with your own, I’m sure.
Here are a few answers from my now 4 1/2 year old:
I really love it when my mom “takes me places like to the library and playing in the play area there, or to Discovery Place, the beach, and the Disney Store.”
My mom always tells me, “It’s nap time.” (Those words are music to my ears)
The best thing she does is “make special things for me to eat like that cuckoo clock sandwich.” (Followed by a “hey mom, will you make one of those again for me tomorrow?”)
When my mom shops she likes to buy “pork chops.” (I have no idea why he would say that...obviously, he never sees me go shopping for enjoyment.)
I love my mom because “you cuddle with me and I’m your cuddle bug & you’re my cuddle girl.” (My favorite answer, by far.)
Wouldn’t it be fun to repeat this every year to see the progression in their language and in their ideas?
It’s also a great way to preserve the present, before you forget about it in a few years...and trust me, the cute, funny things they say one day are easily forgotten within a few weeks.
This leads me to part 2 of this week’s entry. My family has recently been inspired and motivated to chase down our family tree (you can, too, quite easily on ancestry.com!). Mine is quite segmented and splintered (adoptions on both sides of my parents’ lines) and my husband’s is getting quite full! The best part of it so far has been learning new things about our families. All that happens when you actually talk to people. Sure we “communicate” quite regularly with many people now days (text, IM, video chat, email, Facebook, etc.), but we so often are missing out on the real stories of people we love...not even really important stories, but stories that are real, nonetheless. My husband recently connected with family members at a funeral. Upon learning of his family tree quest, they sought him out, answered questions he had, and invited us to come over any time. How precious!
I know we think we learn history through textbooks. But most of these dedicate a paragraph to the most important events in life and never tell us how those events impacted our families (generations before us) directly. This has given me a desire to ask my mom questions now and preserve her answers for the future.
You will never guess what I found this weekend (at Aldi’s of all places) - a “Mother Tell Me Your Story” Journal. (I couldn’t find this available online, but Amazon has many different varieties of such journals). It starts off like a baby book (name, parents’ names, siblings, toddler years), but then, it gets into more personal questions about childhood, growing up (was she involved in any big issues of their time, what news events made her sad or worry, what was her favorite bands, movies, shows of their time, how has her personality changed/stayed the same from adolescents), questions about mom & dad (how they met, initial thoughts, how they handle marital conflict), starting a family (feelings of pregnancy, parenting goals, handing down traditions, similarities/differences between parent and child, advice for grown children and their families).
Even if you can’t find such a journal, you could still make your own. You will cherish it, and so will future generations, including your children. But that only happens if we make time to preserve it now.
Hope that inspires your Mother’s Day weekend!