Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Gift For A Lifetime

I love opening presents. I think it makes me feel a little bit like a kid again, remembering all the anticipation that would build before a birthday or Christmas morning. My own children are at the point where the process of opening almost overshadows the gift itself. This past Christmas, we could barely contain my daughter as she sped from one package to the next. I get it. Really I do. But I'm also old enough experienced enough to know that peeling off the paper is a momentary thrill while the gift itself holds the real value (well, usually).

Even the best gifts rarely have true lasting power. I don't mean to sound pessimistic or ungrateful, but the truth is clothes will go through wear and tear, gift cards get spent, make up gets used up. Even my fabulous macbook from last Christmas will at some point need to be replaced (hopefully not for a long, long time). But this year, my sister gave me a gift meant to last a lifetime.
My Prudent Advice by Jaime Morrison Curtis is a sort of fill-in-the-blanks journal meant to be passed from a mother to her daughter. It's broken into sections like "On Friendship" or "On Being a Woman" and each section has a series of writing prompts that allow a mom to pass on her thoughts and/or advice to her daughter. There are also "free" sections where you can write about the section's theme without any specific prompt.

You could probably sit down and fill this book in a matter of months, but since my daughter is still so young, I plan to take my time over the next several years to finish. I think it would make a great gift for her 18th or 21st birthday or when she graduates from high school or even college. There's nothing inappropriate but some of the topics are a little more mature, which makes me think it would be a better gift for when she's older. Not that I didn't have a sincere interest in politics or education when I was 13... right, so you get my point.

I have already started writing in it and it makes my heart lurch just a little to think of my baby girl as a young woman reading what I've written to her. Although I hope to have a long time to share all these things, one bonus of the written word is that it has some serious staying power. That's also why I'm being careful and intentional about what I write. I want her to have a collection of my thoughts and advice that she can return to even after I'm gone someday. I'm very grateful to my sister for this gift and while I'm in no hurry, I look forward to the day when I can pass this to my sweet baby girl.

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