Let it be known, I cannot wait to be a father. I think I will make a wonderful father, partly because I cannot wait to be a father.
During my little vacation from all things Riot, I went to West Virginia to see my family. Being there, with the 'k' word in mind, was a different kind of experience. I am becoming acutely aware of things that I want my future children to know, traditions and skills that I want to be able to hand off to the next generation.
It's weird what becomes important when you put it in the scope of 'skills that will die out unless I save them'. Things like biscuits. I know... It's easy to buy biscuit dough or biscuit mix or even flour and other raw ingredients, but my family it's own recipe for biscuits...and I've never perfected it. I own a handwritten copy of my great grandmother's biscuit recipe, and I've never made it. I'll buy premade biscuit mix and call it a morning. I know I'm supposed to throw flour on the countertop and roll the dough onto it. I know I'm supposed to cut the dough with a wet water glass. But...I've never perfected the dough.
And apple butter. My Granny's apple butter recipe is all but religion in my family. I have it. I've never made it. I know it takes an obscene amount of a particular kind of candy...but still...never made it.
My mother's mother is a painter and a gardener...I'm trying to do those. At least to keep the spirit and love for those alive so that my children will be exposed to them.
Knitting, though, is going to be my next task. My great grandmother knitted. I actually own the knitting needles she was using to start the very last thing she would ever knit before she died. She'd barely made a few rows, and the tiny corner of stitches is still attached to one of the needles, ostensibly because she thought it would just be a quick doctor's visit and not the last 6 months of her life in a hospital. I originally learned on those same needles, but they will not be used. They will retain the final yarn of my Granny and sit in honor on my shelf. I'll get new needles.
But, it's a skill I'd like to learn...or...re-learn as it were. There aren't a lot of kids in my generation. Counting me, there are 4 blood children of my parents' generation. None of them learned any of these skills. My brother wasn't interested, and my two cousins don't see much of my grandparents.
In some ways, learning these skills is a very selfish thing. I want to be the one to preserve this knowledge and to be able to pass it on. It makes me feel good, feel needed to my family. A family, ironically, that I never wanted much to do with growing up. It's amazing how years and life have a way of putting perspective and need and urgency and desire on things like a love of one's family.
What special skills are prevalent in your family? What traditions do you want to take up before it's too late? Are there any skills you wished you'd learned but that family member is no longer able to teach them?
Share your answers in the comments below.
Love and Lyte,