"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 and homemade ice
cream and leftover meatloaf sandwiches. I really would.
My cherished grandson, I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and
that you learn honesty by being cheated.
I hope you learn to make your bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.
And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.
I hope you have a job by then. It will be good if at least one time you can
see a baby calf 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. And it's all
right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he
wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let
When you want to see a Disney movie and your little brother wants to tag
along, I hope you'll let him. 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 your driver doesn't
have 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 one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. When
you learn to use those newfangled computers, I hope you also learn to add
and subtract in your head.
I hope you get razzed by your friends when you have your first crush on a
girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what Ivory soap
tastes like. May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on
the stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.
I hope you get sick when someone blows cigar smoke in your face. I don't
care if you try beer once, but I hope you don't like it. And if a friend
offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.
I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your grandpa and go fishing
with your uncle. May you feel sorrow at a funeral and the joy of holidays.
I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through a
neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmas time
when you give her a plaster of Paris mold of your hand.
These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and