Every year I labor to find the perfect gifts for my children. Something that expresses my gratitude for their existence and shows how deeply I know, see, and love them as their interests and passions grow and evolve over the years. Gifts that express my hopes for their wellbeing and happiness. Gifts that will help them to grow and deepen. Gifts that honor the love and dreams passed down to me from my own parents, grandparents, and even more distant generations.
I spent some time earlier this month with my folks. Well, with my mom. Dad is in a memory care facility and really doesn’t have much left in the way of words or clear indication that he’s present or knows who he’s with…but that’s not the story. In addition to helping mom review her updated end-of-life paperwork, we sorted through the accumulated keepsakes and photos from my dad’s side of the family, sifting through boxes that probably haven’t been opened since the early 1980’s. It seems like I’ve always known about where I came from on my mother’s side (Scotland, early 1700’s, deportation to the colonies by the English crown after a run-in with the law…all very Scottish), but this was my first deep dive into my dad’s side of the family. I was deeply struck by a thread that seemed to run through all those years…giving gifts of knowledge, hope, resilience, opportunity, and skills to each successive generation.
This is what we all hope for isn’t it? To pass along to our children the wherewithal to take advantage of ever bigger and better opportunities? To see them develop the ability and confidence to adapt to whatever challenges life presents to them?