Lately the list of all the things Katherine plans to do when she is the mom has been getting longer and longer. Some days she announces that when she's the mom she plans to smoke (this kind of announcement is always followed by hysterical giggles, since smoking is evidently the most scandalous behavior her little imagination can conceive). And when she is the mom her kids will get to eat cookies for dinner every night, and stay up as late as they want. Other days Katherine's wish list seems a little more reasonable. She wants to drive a red car, preferably a "slug bug." She wants to let all her kids have their own room. She wants to read three books to her kids every night, instead of only two.
I used to keep a list like that. And as funny as the whole idea seems, the truth is that there are lots of things on my list that I remembered once I became a mom and those things are now a part of our family culture. I think it's kind of amazing that you can make up your mind about something when you're in elementary school, and still stand by that idea years and years later when you're grown and raising a family of your own. Many of us do so many things in the tradition of our parents, I think it's wonderful to grow up and find ways to improve. To become the kind of parent you used to dream about when you were little.
So, I'm trying really hard never to resent the unsubtle suggestions that my way is not now and will never be the way my girls want to do it when they are grown. Instead, I try to encourage them. Keep a list, I tell them. Write it all down before you forget, or one of these days you're going to realize that your car is green, you don't smoke, and you have children of your own who you regularly force to eat vegetables for dinner!
What did you swear to do differently when you were little? Have you kept that promise to yourself? Are there things on your childhood list that eventually came true?