The things we do for our kids

My sons are reading the Harry Potter books. Well, my 9 year old just finished book 5, and we’re reading the first book to my 6 year old at bedtime because he’s not a strong reader yet. But he really wanted to know about HP since his brother is into it. The younger watched the first movie and loved it, especially the ending that we thought might be too much for him. He thought it was, “Awesome!” Too funny. He’s enjoying it and asked me to read more to him this morning so I read about a chapter. He’s actually still and quiet while I read which is a miracle in itself.

I journal. Constantly. Every stray thought that comes into my head goes on paper so that I don’t bug the heck out of my husband by talking constantly. I use spiral notebooks and go through about one a month. One thing that I started doing a couple of years ago was writing journals to my kids. They each have their own journal book (nice ones that I bought specially) and I make entries once in a while, when something neat happens or just when we have a good day or something. It’s just what’s going on in their lives, in our lives, and why I love them. I don’t know when I’m going to give it to them. Either when they have kids or I’ll just leave them to them when I die. Either way, I thought it was a nice way of recording special things that go on. Since I’m a writer, it seemed natural and I only wish I’d started them sooner.

Another thing that I am doing is wearing rings, flanking my wedding rings, that symbolize my kids. I saw something like it on Pinterest and thought it was a great idea. My mother gave me her wedding band when I got too fat to wear my own when I was pregnant with Youngest Boy. It wasn’t her original wedding band, but she’d worn it for a very long time. She let me keep it and bought another one for herself to replace it. It’s just a thin, plain gold band. I started wearing that behind my wedding ring (so it doesn’t fall off now that I’ve lost some of the weight), and went and got another like it for Elder Boy and wear that in front of my rings. If the boys get married I’ll give them and their brides the option of wearing those rings as their wedding bands. They certainly won’t have to; I like the way they look around my rings and I love the symbolism and that I’m wearing my mother’s wedding band as well as my own. She and my father have been married for almost 50 years. It feels almost like a good luck charm.

I have the obligatory baby books that are barely filled out – the older son’s more than the younger, of course. More my style was the baby box where I threw the ultrasound pictures, the congratulatory cards, and their hospital bracelets, among other things. That I was able to do for each of them because it didn’t require much work. I’m a lazy sentimentalist.

I don’t know if either of them will grow up to care about this sort of thing, but I feel better doing it for them. If nothing else, it’s a way to give them a little bit of their own history when they get older. Who knows, maybe it will help them understand why we did some of the things we did. All parents mess up their kids somehow, I’m just hoping they’ll realize it wasn’t on purpose.

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