Happy December 1st, people! I hope you all had an excellent Thanksgiving break! I really did. I got to go to my parents’ house for the first time in two months, which was really nice, and spend time with my whole family. I got my entire house decorated for Christmas. I ate an obscene amount of food, drank an obscene amount of coffee, and watched nearly 24 hours of “Modern Family.” I’d call that a success.
Being home for the holidays and getting ready for Christmas always makes me think back on when I was little, which was PERFECT for this week, as I was trying to figure out something I could cross off my list. I have several things in the works, but realized I hadn’t actually officially crossed anything off yet…until now. So, without further ado, here are 5 things I learned as a kid that I want to teach my own kids.
1. I learned how to play.
Yes, you read that correctly. I learned how to play. I know that may seem silly, but having taught preschool the past three years and witnessing several children who didn’t know how to play, it’s really not silly at all. I am really thankful that my parents took time to play with us and be silly. I’m also thankful that I had two live-in playmates in my sisters. Some of my fondest memories of childhood involved playing Barbies, playing basketball in the backyard with my dad, and playing board games together as a family. When I was growing up, my dad was a math teacher at the local high school, and he’d often go in on the weekends to grade papers and do prep work. He’d bring us along and let us loose in the gym for what felt likes hours. We’d run, scream, practice cartwheels, and sometimes, play hide and seek in the whole school. It was the best time, and I’ll never forget it.
Lookin’ super fly in the 90’s (I’m the one wearing Mickey and Minnie…hell yeah!)
2. I learned to pursue my interests.
I am so thankful, every single day, that I wasn’t one of those kids who does one thing for their entire childhood. I did EVERYTHING. Literally. Acting, dance, cooking class, stained glass, drawing, rocketry, basketball, softball, soccer, tennis, track, band, choir, color guard, math club, science club, speech, creative writing, Girl Scouts, I could probably go on. My parents were awesome at making sure I wasn’t overloaded, and that I gave all my interests a fair chance. I wasn’t allowed to quit whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, which I’m also very thankful for. Getting to try so many things really helped me decide what I liked and what I didn’t. I mean, if I had stuck with one thing for my whole life, I’d be a cheerleader right now. So…thanks Mom and Dad for letting me try everything. And also, for not letting me be a professional cheerleader.
Fun fact: my dad started taking me to baby swim lessons when I was 18 months!
(I’m the cutie on the right)
3. I learned responsibility.
When I went to college, I was a little stunned when my roommate shared with me that she didn’t know how to do the dishes, and that her mom usually made her bed for her. Uh, WHAT?! And you’re how old? For as long as I can remember, we always had chores and even had a chore chart at one point! When my dad broke his elbow when I was in middle school, I learned how to mow the lawn since he wasn’t able. When we got our cats, Mal and I had to agree to help take care of them, which meant I had to scoop litter. (Oh, so much litter.) While all those things seemed like a pain in the ass at the time, I’m so glad I actually learned how to do them. I take a lot of pride when people comment on the cleanliness of my house. Thanks Mom. 🙂
Responsibly holding my Uncle Mike’s cat like a boss
Most responsible big sister ever
4. I learned that being smart is something to be proud of, but that it didn’t make me better than anyone else.
Now, I obviously don’t remember this, but my mom stayed home with me when I was little, and taught me how to read before I turned 3. My dad, as I mentioned, was a math teacher, so we did timed math tests every night before bed. I never thought that I was any different from any of the other kids in school; I honestly assumed that everyone did math tests while they had their bedtime snack. I knew that I was in “talented and gifted” classes, but at no point do I remember feeling superior to my classmates. I really have my parents to thank for that. They were proud of me and my accomplishments, not proud that I was “smarter” or a better reader than the rest of my class. Ashton Kutcher recently said that being smart is sexy, but I think being humble about it is, too.
5. I learned how to be a good friend.
Just like anyone else, I encountered a lot of nice kids growing up, and a lot of not-so-nice kids, too. But no matter how nice or not nice, my parents instilled in me a foundation based on the golden rule and how to be a good person. Being a good person was right up there with learning my times tables, and doing all my chores; it was just as important, if not more so. Sure, I got teased, mocked, and even bullied a bit, but I was never, ever a nasty, mean person. Now, there are some times I can remember not being a great friend, but I think, for the most part, I’ve done very well in that area. If my future kids can be good friends, I’ll know I did something right.
Being such a good friend to baby Mallory
On my gosh, look what a good friend I am!
So, there you go. My future children will be intelligent, responsible, playful, involved, good friends. And if they’re not, I’ll love them anyway. So, there is one thing officially crossed off my list! Yah yah! Only 29 more things to go!
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Until next time, xoxo