Mom's Corner with Michelle Blaylock
Give the gift of time to your kids
Just in case you haven't heard, Father's Day is this Sunday. As usual, we are inundated with commercials telling us what we should buy for our fathers and/or husbands. I want to remind you to just spend some time with them.
When I was a young girl growing up is southeast Missouri, my daddy's father lived across the road from us. (I mean road as in gravel!) Since my mother worked outside the home and Daddy farmed with Pop (my grandfather), I stayed with my grandmother.
I can vaguely remember Pop telling stories from his days growing up in Texas. He only had the opportunity to attend school until third grade, but he could read and write very well and could add a column of figures faster than they could be put in a calculator. He was also ambidextrous. I can remember him doing something like hammering with one hand and when that hand tired he'd just switch hands and keep on going never missing a beat.
Daddy decided that he didn't want to forget the stories Pop had shared with us over the years. The two of them made plans for a trip to Texas. They were going to visit as many places as possible where the actual events had occurred and Daddy was going to video Pop recounting his memories.
Daddy had decided even if everything had changed, as it most certainly had in the intervening 50 some odd years, they would still visit the place and Pop could explain how things looked when he had lived there.
Both Daddy and Pop were excited about the whole project. Daddy bought the newest photography equipment he could find. In fact, video cameras for home use had just begun to be produced. Daddy bought one and, compared to what we have today, that thing was huge! I can remember trying to use it when I was about 12 and it was so heavy I could barely lift it and keep it on my shoulder for even a few minutes.
Daddy also purchased the best microphone he could find and the best still shot camera he could get. Since Pop and Daddy farmed together they knew that wouldn't be able to do this project until after harvest. However, preparations began in spring with the purchase of the equipment.
As the summer began to pass, Pop and Daddy worked out a list of places they wanted to visit. Unfortunately, Pop passed away during the summer.
My point is don't procrastinate. I believe one of the greatest gifts you can give to someone is your time and attention. No one else can give it, only you. I want to encourage you to record your memories in some way for your children and grandchildren. It will be priceless to them.
On the subject of memories, as a child I was always asking Mom and Daddy what things were like when they were young. As I grew, I was a little jealous thinking I wouldn't have things to share "from the olden" days with my children. I mean, after all, I grew up with air-conditioning, TV, cars, indoor plumbing, and all that other important stuff.
I was so wrong. My childhood days are now the "olden days" to my kids. They think it is so awful that I grew up with only three TV stations--sometimes four if the weather was good. I can remember when VCRs first came out.
A fun game to play with your kids or grandkids is to pick several things your kids have always had the luxury of having. Then ask them if they think you had them when you were their age or if they think they looked the same as they do now. For example, the first VCRs where about 4-6 inches tall and at least 2-feet long! It was also much heavier than VCRs of today.
Have them think about what has come available in their lifetime. Something else we do at the Blaylock home is tell stories at the dinner table. My kids beg for the same ones over and over.
Most of all, give the gift of your time.
It is a gift unique to you and no one else can give the same gift. I hope you have a happy Father's Day. If you have a question, comment or suggestion for Mom's Corner, please send it to: Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496; Hartselle, AL 35640 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.