What are you Passing on to Your Kids?


I am sitting at my computer trying to think of a brilliant “thing” to write about that I haven’t written to you about before.  

We have had a crazy weather winter.  Today it started out cloudy and cold, on the way home from the gym it started to snow.  Within an hour it was really coming down although nothing was sticking at our house.  By mid-afternoon, the sun was out and it looked like a totally different day.  So I was going to talk about the weather in some regards but my mind kept wandering and the only thing that kept coming to my mind is that tomorrow my dad turns 80 years old.  OMG.  My dad is eighty.  How on earth did this happen? 

I was brought up in a house of girls.  I have three sisters.  The only males in our house were our dad and the dog.  I was number two, mine was the blue cup, I was first in line for hand me downs, and I loved spending time outside with my dad.  My father was a firefighter so he spent 4 days working, two day shifts and two night shifts.  As a result, we got lots of time with Dad in the daytime.  My dad always was and still is, an outdoors kind of guys.  He spent a huge amount of time in the yard doing gardening, yard work and even put a little workshop in the back of our detached carport so that he could be outside.  I spent a lot of time with him outside.  I learned very early how to mow the grass, trim the hedges, turn the compost, rake the leaves, and anything else that meant I got to spend time outside.  As I got older, I still spent a ton of time outside.  We went camping all summer where we learned even more about being outside.  How to light a campfire, row a boat, paddle a canoe, catch a fish, clean it, put up a tent in the rain, split firewood, find the right firestarters, identify common birds, shrubs, trees, and even how to cook on the fire.  Mom always cooked in the camper or on the table top stove, but Dad was in charge of cooking on the fire, things like toast, marshmallows, sometimes potatoes, roasts and of course hot dogs.

My time outside with my dad translated into a love for the outdoors and as we had our own family, it became important to us to teach our kids the same great things and hopefully end up having the same memories and love for nature.

Things have changed obviously over the years.  We started out camping in a hand me down tent, then dad made, yes made, our camper and then my parents move up to a fifth wheel.  Sadly, the fifth wheel is not used very much and hotels seem much more convenient for them.  But, the values that my dad instilled in us have become what we raised our kids with.  We used to send them outside to play and as a result, our kids love to spend time outside not as a punishment but as a time to unwind, relax and unplug.

Now, we will have the privilege to pass on this outside way of life to our grandson.  The fact that we will get to pass on something from a whole different generation that is still so relevant and still available and is still something that we want to do is really great.  My grandfather, who was a gardener, still resonates with me and maybe that is why I want to pass on this love of the outdoors to the next generation.

  • What are you passing on to your kids?
  • Are you passing on a love of fast food?  
  • Are you passing on a lifestyle that you want them to replicate?  
  • Are you sending a healthy message that is worth passing on?  
  • Are you going to be the inspiration to your grandkids?

What you do today really does matter.  Your family is watching and we know that kids learn more by duplicating than by watching.  So, set the example and live a life worth duplicating in the next generation or two.

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. – William James


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