Someone said something to me recently that I have been thinking about. She said "you are the most unsentimental person I know". It made me laugh but then I started thinking about it.
The conversation began talking about how parents influence their kids. Parents that are obsessed with germs and how that affects their children at 2, 8 and 20. So, have I passed the unsentimental gene down to my kids?
What is sentimental? Feelings of tenderness or nostalgia. Yet, there are certainly different levels just like there is of any feeling. Do I save a special outfit that I wore when I got engaged? Absolutely not. We clean out our closets every season. New fashions, new clothes, new looks. Of course there are a few things that I save and more as I get older but that is just probably because I buy nicer stuff. Do I look at movies of the kids when they were young and get a bit teary eyed and laugh, absolutely. Do I wish for the days when they were young all over again…not a chance. I enjoy each year as they grow and look forward to each different stage. Will I feel empty and strange when Jessica goes off to college? Will I feel a need to return to the work world, at least get a job that I get paid for? No. We raised Jessica (as well as Emily and Josh) to be herself. It will be time for her to fly from the nest. I just hope we gave her good solid values to carry with her as she creates her own way in the world. Do I keep photo albums of each year to save as memories…absolutely. I look back at them with nostalgia and tenderness.
Do I feel sentimental about pieces of furniture or homes? No. I guess Fred and I are always looking for the next journey, the next opportunity, the next challenge. Maybe it is just in our genes. It is probably what makes us good partners. As much as we are always looking around the corner and happy to move on to something new and exciting, we do enjoy the moment.
So what have we taught our kids about being sentimental? Everything we own is just an asset that is easily replaceable. Friends, family and relationships are not replaceable. Those relationships are something to be sentimental about. As you travel through life, if you can pick up one friend at each juncture, you are so ahead of the game. Remember each relationship with fondness and bring along what you learned from that as you grow through the game of life. Saving a sweater, a favorite chair or a piece of Grandma’s silver those are just items. Relationships, well that is a completely different story.