1. They love to read. We share books, the newspaper, magazines, whatever. We talk about what we’ve read – what we thought, interesting phrases, nifty concepts, and we critique stuff, too. Even (gasp) poetry!
2. They can cook. I know, I taught them. I have bragging rights. I, therefore, brag at will. I astound grandmothers who want to complain about their kids and grandkids that live out of things in boxes or frozen dinners. People from other states send me nice things for my children, who are so talented and alert as to be able to cook for themselves!
3. They all hug me daily without my having to ask or even
look pathetic. Even Spawn, who, at 18, is quite sure that he will lose man points if he’s too nice to me, will stop and hug me without immediately asking for a privilege or money. Bunny hugs me every morning when she gets up, before she goes to school or leaves the house for any reason, at least one other time, and then before bed. Doodle still cuddles with me on the couch, although not as often as he used to. He wanders over to me periodically and body slams me, followed by an immediate hug. Heh. I think it’s great that they still hug me; I would miss it if they stopped.
4. They help around the house without complaining. Well, not often and not much. Really! They’ll go grocery shopping with me, load the groceries in the trunk, bring them in, and put them away. That might just be so they can eyeball all the food we got so they can see what they want to snarf up, but still. They do laundry, sometimes all on their own, wipe counters, empty garbage, haul garbage to the curb, set the table, load the dishwasher, and so on. If I ask them to help with a chore, such as cleaning the bathroom, they do it without hesitation. When we work as a team, we can really storm through a room like a passel of Merry Maids!
5. They save their money. Oh, not like hysterical scared people, but reasonably. Part of it is, we have a ceramic cow bank on the dining room table. All year long, the kids and I chuck our change in the cow. When the cow is full, Spawn takes the cash cow over to the bank and has them count the coins and return folding money. Then we pick a movie and go all out – popcorn, sodas, and a movie for all of us. (And if you don’t think that costs nearly a hundred dollars for a family of five, you haven’t been to the theater lately!). They also have savings accounts, and it has become a matter of habit for them to put half of gift checks in their savings and use the rest for purchasing a present for whatever occasion. They are all very, very proud of watching their accounts to see how much interest they are earning, and they strive to save more if they can’t think of something to buy with the other half of the gift money. Spawn has also started contributing to his annuity (by the way, you can buy a flex annuity for cheap and just add money whenever you want, you know, you don’t have to be a Rockefeller) of his own volition. I hope the habit of saving money sticks with them for life. I hope their spouses are savers, not spenders, too.
Have a great weekend!