I was raised by wise women. Our society doesn't particularly value wisdom, (youth and ignorance are prized, and wisdom and experience are overlooked and dismissed) but I was blessed to have true wisdom in my life.
My dear aunt once told me the best parenting advice she had came from 2 sources: My mother (her older sister, who had 11 well loved children) and my Grammy (their mom who had 10 well loved children). She said the emotionally wise things came from Grammy, and the rationally wise things came from mom (who took parenting classes, and read voraciously--choosing what she felt was the best and truest, most useful wisdom and tossing the rest).
Here is some of my Grammy's advice--the things that she left to be shared at her funeral.
JOYCE’S COUNSEL TO HER DESCENDANTS
*Parenting and grand-parenting are their own reward.
*Seek guidance from prayer.
*When your child, grandchild, or anyone comes to you with serious worries and feelings of failure: LISTEN – LISTEN – LISTEN! Avoid giving advice like the plague.
*Sit near them, say, “This is hard, but you can do hard things.”
*They may feel worthless – you know they are not. They may feel not lovable – you know they are. They may feel they lack courage – you know they’re brave.
*Remember the healing power of touch. Draw near, wipe away tears, pat their hand, rub their back, and give a hug. Let them feel the strength and faith that Heavenly Father will always bless and guide through prayer. Let them know you have faith in them and their prayers. Let them know that the Savior is watching over them by day and by night and loves them always no matter what. But most of all pray with them and for them.
A poem my grammy had saved (which describes her perfectly)
She had a way with children,
She molded them like clay.
She found the greatness in them, and
She nurtured it each day.
Our trip to Idaho for Grammy's funeral was physically rather uncomfortable--I have never been good at sleeping in the car. However, the love and joy that was gathered together to celebrate the life of a remarkable woman made it worthwhile--and, as an added bonus, I love getting to spend time with my family, and I loved being with my dad & 2 sisters. LOTS of stories were shared!
When you drive across the country in January, you know you will be crossing your fingers all the way for good weather. We were very blessed--although we had 30 mile an hour winds all the way across Kansas and most of Missouri, and the blowing snow was NOT pleasant to drive in, the wind did keep it from sticking to the road. That means that although visibility was reduced, the roads were bare and dry.
One fun note--at a late night potty stop (in Colorado, I think!)the restroom door was postitioned in such a way that there was a pretty good sized snowdrift (a foot across, 18 inches long & 3 inches deep) that had blown into the ladies room, under the door. While we were waiting, we made a tiny little snowman, with emery board arms and dog treat face, and left him sitting in the corner by the door (where the wind would keep him cold). It was fabulously funny. I guess you had to be there! Just more proof that life is about the journey, not just the destination!