There are some things in life that never change from generation to generation. As the holidays approach and the busiest time of the year arrives, take time to reflect on those simple things! It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a year since my maternal grandmother went Home. With each passing month, I am reminded of how quickly her entire generation–those pre-World War II babies whose childhoods survived the Great Depression and whose 20s were spent defending our nation at war or holding down the home front–are disappearing forever. Since my grandmother spent her final six years with slowly-fading memories, I am not sure she would have even recognized a laptop computer, much less a smart phone or the wild unknown of the World Wide Web. Although the generation after–the Baby Boomer period into which my own parents were born–have made the transition to a more technology-filled society, life is already strikingly different from when my parents raised me in the 1980s and 1990s. I often wonder how life will look for my daughters when they are in their mid-30s. Will the simple things in life all disappear? Or are there some simple things in life that never change? I hope and pray that it’s the latter. And I think it really is. When I think about the simple things in life that my mother and grandmother and her mother and grandmother before all celebrated and embraced, I’m eager to see my girls continue to do the same. These simple things include:
We all must eat. No matter the technological advances, I can’t foresee the human race ever giving this up! And with an increased awareness that fast food equals fat, unhealthy bodies, cooking wholesome, nourishing meals together as a family might well increase in popularity as my little girls grow up. Although we try to allow our girls to help us in the kitchen a little each day (my 5-year-old’s entire face lights up with excitement when I let her crack eggs!), holidays are always a special time of bonding in the kitchen for our family, as I do not bake often the rest of the year. From homemade gluten-free cakes and from-scratch pie crusts with pumpkin or apple filling to lightly-breaded chicken tenders browning in a skillet crackling with oil, cooking is one of those simple things in life that never changes.
You might laugh, but I’m actually serious: Laundry is my favorite chore! (If you don’t love it, check out how a $15 Craigslist find revolutionized my laundry routine and discover my 4-step laundry system that works!) Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my mother pulling warm clothes from the dryer and letting me help her fold when they were still hot. Don’t tell my more eco-conscious colleagues, but sometimes I will still turn the dryer on for a few extra minutes before folding if I don’t have time to fold when they are still hot. Although being behind on laundry can make me feel behind on life, when I am caught up, I feel on top of the world! As long as we wear clothes, laundry will never end, but instead of dreading it, we can embrace that this is one of the simple things in life that never changes.
No matter what happens in this life, there will always be children to entertain us. Those children are forever changing, as the little ones at family gatherings turn into adults in what seems like a blink of an eye, but the children of old then produce new children themselves. Despite a lifetime of watching babies learn how to walk, we will always be mesmerized in a child’s first steps. We will always cheer our little ones on at the loss of a tooth–and be taken back to our own childhoods in the process. They will always bring us laughter as they delight in discovering the simple things in this life that we adults can often take for granted. In the midst of the approaching busyness Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, I hope you will join me in celebrating the simple things in life that never change.