But the possibility has gotten my mind working in a new direction, so I'm going to start something new here and see if it takes off.
"Letters to my Grandchildren" is going to be a new category here. My kids are now all young adults, and beginning to make their own way through life, and as they grew, I did the best I could raising them. I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and there are many things I would do differently if I could do things over. As I watch them move through life, I think of opportunities I missed to speak to them directly. Although I am certain that they are probably happy that there weren't more Dad lectures, I see choices they make and wonder if I couldn't have done more to prepare them for the realities they are all facing.
Don't get me wrong; I'm very proud of all of my kids and how they are moving on with their lives, but like any parent, I wish I had done more. I regret opportunities I missed. But they are young adults now, and while I can still advise them, I can't really teach them. And several of them are parents themselves now (Have I told you about my grandchildren?) and I am sure they will come to me for help in raising their kids.
At least, I hope they will.
And I know that their kids are not my kids, no matter how close I feel to them. I don't have the right to raise them, and just like I did when I raised my kids, I was determined to to repeat the mistake I believe my father made when raising his kids. And I am absolutely certain that my kids feel the same way.
At least, I hope they do. We all want our kids to do more and be more and do better than we ever did.
But I know I have a lot to give to my kids and grandkids, a lot of lessons learned from life, and study, and quiet contemplation at 4am on watch at sea, or during an hour and a half commute to and from work. I want to pass these things on. I want them to know just how much they mean to me, and to show them what I've learned and with any luck save them from some of the many mistakes I've made.
So, starting next week, once a week, I will be writing a letter for my grandchildren. Their parents will be able to decide whether or not to let the kids read it, so I won't be interfering with their parenting decisions. But I will be telling them the things that I consider to be important, what I think is valuable. And hopefully, giving them a look inside my head and my heart.
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