Monday, June 1, 2009

In Prelude to My Post About Sixth Grade Graduation

Every time I read this, I cry. Paul Harvey wrote it, that wonderful man. I don't think I could say it better than this-may you rest in peace, Paul. Thanks so much.

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse.

For my grandchildren, I'd like better.

I'd really like for them to know about
hand me down clothes
homemade ice cream
and leftover meat loaf sandwiches.

I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and honesty by being cheated.

I hope you learn to make your own bed
to mow the lawn
and wash the car.

And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you’re sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister.
And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when they want to crawl under the covers with you because they’re scared,
I hope you let them.

When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along,
I hope you'll let them.

I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

On rainy days when you have to catch a ride,
I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.
If you want a slingshot,
I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying it.

I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.

When you learn to use computers,
I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush; and when you talk back to your mother I hope you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove
and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.

I don't care if you try a beer once,
but I hope you don't like it…
And if a friend offers you dope or a joint,
I hope you realize they are not really your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grand Parents and go fishing with your Uncle.
May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs and kisses you at Hannukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you –
tough times and disappointment,
hard work and happiness.

To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

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