Good morning and welcome to Tuesday Coffee Chat here at Time out For Mom!   Feel free to grab the button on the side, link up and share your thoughts.

I am your host (it was really tempting to add 'most excellent' in there for some reason?), RoryBore....or simply Les.    Now before we get to this weeks' topic, of course most important question is:   what do you take in your coffee?  Or Tea, if you prefer.    I did have a grandmother who taught me to make a proper pot o' tea after all!

Oh, and that's a nice little segue.   Since what's on my mind this week concerns such Family Matters as Legacy.

from the Old French, legacie, "something inherited from a predecessor; a heritage." (thank you Wiktionary)

With 3 separate family reunions completed this summer, its difficult not to pause and question what I am passing on to my own children.   Beyond the everyday life lessons of brush your teeth, share your toys, mind your manners, be kind to others....No, we don't put lady bugs in people's drinks.  Yes, even if we think they like to pretend ice cubes are giant icebergs and they are escaping the next Ice Age like in the movie.

What would I like to leave with them?  Since it's not likely to be money (um, sorry).    These trips are a lot of work with 3 small children.  I am just as busy at a reunion, as I am at home.  It is often harder to watch them since most take place on, or near water.  It means I also have to be in the water.   It means I also have to go to bed in a tiny hotel room -- instead of going out to the bonfire, another room to chat, or to the bar for a night-cap --- when they go to bed.    And no, I don't care that the beach is just over there, I do not feel comfortable leaving 3 sleeping children alone in a cabin on a resort.  Thus, I don't know that I had one, real conversation at any reunion this summer.   Any attempt to partake in one is quickly stalled by at least one interrupting child.   Or some crisis requiring my attention....usually involving bodily functions. So...why bother?

Because, it matters.   Family matters.  They matter enough to do laundry and pack for myself and 3 kids, load up an aging minivan and travel a great distance with a baby that won't fall asleep anymore, and 2 restless older children who can't agree on Fisher Price versus Wiggles music.   That is what I hope they will learn by watching me take the time and effort, to attend each year.  That it is worth it to connect with your family; even briefly.    It is worth the struggle to get a hug from grandma, or play eye-spy or thumb wrestling your favourite aunt, or splash in the water all day with your cousins.  If I treated these family functions like they were too much work, just too much effort for a tired mom to bother, then what will they learn?   If I stopped going because I rarely was able to sit and actually visit.   What's the message?   Besides that it is all about me?  Besides that life should always be easy.   No, I rob my children of the chance to know their roots.  To build memories with their cousins, who if they are lucky, will also be some of their best friends.   I create in them the notion that family is just some unknown entity that you came from, but has no bearing, or influence on where you are going.  

The world today would rather we learned all our life's lessons, values and morals from the Gospel According to "that which is currently hip or cool."   This of course is an ever changing slide ruler of what is good for you, acceptable, or right.  It can change by tomorrow's headlines.   But family -- that should be constant.  The lessons learned at a loving Grandma's knee -- that's often for keeps.   Steady and true.  That's a foundation you can build a life upon.   When they finally leave this cozy little nest I have created and venture out on their own....and trouble darkens their door, because it surely will at some point....How will they know that they are not alone, that they always have a home and loving arms to return to, if they don't KNOW their own family?  How could they know?   Far beyond the teeth brushing and the 10 commandments....they need a safe, soft place to fall.

And that is why, to me, the love of family, matters.
It is so much more than an heirloom.
But to pass it on....I must first live it.   So they will see.
I must feed it, so it will grow in them too.


Trip?  Click to enlarge, print....give them some crayons

Do you think about what you will pass on to your children?   Does the idea of heritage and legacy also resonate within you?   I hope that you will share your thoughts.