I've learned many lessons over the years, some from experience, most from my parents, even some from my husband and his parents. The most important ones, of course, are the ones they didn't know they were teaching and I didn't realize I was learning, those I learned by example.
Here are a few...
1. Take lots of pictures.
2. It's never too late to be what you might have been.
From my Mom:
1. Always be ready for an adventure. And the corollary of this: don't let lack of preparation keep you from the adventure.
2. Let the child get dirty. Clothes can be cleaned and the opportunity to play in a mud puddle or play with paints or have ice cream dripping down your shirt is always worth the mess.
3. Take time to see the rainbow, watch the sunset, gaze at the moon. The dishes and laundry will wait.
4. Sometimes you need to feed your soul. (This one came to my mother from her mother, one of the wisest women I've ever known.)
From my Dad:
1. Even the most ordinary day can be a celebration with a good meal, good wine, and good conversation. Don't save the best wine and best food for a special occasion, make the special occasion now.
2. The best meals come from the garden--from earth and toil and rain and sun.
3. Flowers make life beautiful.
4. Stop, look, listen. You may find the rarest of wildflowers crouching at the base of a tree, or hiding beneath its leaves, and you will not see it if you don't take time to look.
From both of my parents:
1. The simplest pleasures are the best.
2. God is in the gift of nature. It is holy and sacred.
3. Not much expands your horizons like a good book--it will take you anywhere.
From my in-laws:
1. Everything is fun with a big family.
2. The practice of faith has value in and of itself.
3. Tradition and love help keep a family connected. A family that stays together, stays together.
From my husband:
1. Always honor your commitments, keep your promises, and do what you say you're going to do.
2. The greatest and most powerful gift in the world is loving someone unconditionally--despite her flaws, her errors in judgment, her unintended (or intended) barbs. With this kind of love behind you, anything can be accomplished.
I hope that I can teach these things to Owen.
I wonder what else she will learn from my example.