What Will You Hand Down to Your Children?


Grandma's cookie jarMy mother is 82 years old and clearing out things from her house. Months ago I received a cookie jar. It has no markings whatsoever so I have no idea who made it and when. It’s in pristine condition and I know it is over 100 years old because it belonged to my great grandmother who I never met. I remember my grandmother keeping sugar cookies in it. Cookies she made from a recipe that has been lost. I loved those cookies. My daughter will get this cookie jar when I’m ready to pass it down making it the fourth generation of ownership.

This weekend, my brother visited and my mom had sent along a box of old farm equipment. I don’t even know what you call the tools, but my great grandfather who was a blacksmith had made them. These will be handed down to my son along with the Russian samovar, which is the only thing I have from my father’s side of the family.

But those are just things and while I cherish them because they are a part of my family history, there are things more important to me that I hope to hand down to my children.

I can’t hand them the world on a platter, but I want them to know they can do anything they want to do with their lives. And for my daughter, being female shouldn’t limit her. I want her to know she is a beautiful, young woman and she has a brain. I want my son to be a good man– and he’s out to a great start. I want him to do his part to break the cycle of stereotypes men often associate with women. I want them both to know that their voices matter and they can make an impact on the world with it.

But most importantly I want to hand down to them some of the things I learned along the way. Success is never handed to you–you have to work hard for it.

It truly isn’t how much you know, but whom you know. It’s all about relationships and networking and that was true even before social media and technology came along to enable it on a whole other level.

And I want them to know the importance of kindness. You can give it freely, and will get so much more back. It may not be returned immediately, but it will at some point.

What do you want to hand down to your children?

2 Responses to “What Will You Hand Down to Your Children?”

  1. Kindness and success….agree. I want them to keep an open heart, even knowing not everyone will be trustworthy. I also agree about things. They are things and having meaning, but are still things. That said, one thing we pass down is recipes and traditions. Like “the egg fight” (no we don’t throw eggs) we play every Easter – no matter where the family spreads in the country, everyone plays and declares their winner and shares the news. Or the recipes….this bring back fond memories and makes me feel a sense of “belonging”. I hope my kids will always have that.

    Suz Murphy

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