For whatever reason, I used to have this fantasy that I would want a child/children who were just like me. Moreover, I had this idea that my kids would need to experience life just like me. Then, I adopted a black girl, and I realized just how silly and not possible this fantasy was. Don't most of us spend our adult life overcoming our childhoods anyway (this is a joke, kind of)?!
Well, becoming a missionary has made me a little sad at times that my kids are not living a childhood like mine, at all. In my head I know that is not what matters most, but sometimes, it's a healthy aspect of parenting in that you want to relate to your child.
When I was little, I used to spend a lot of time at my dad's uncle's farm. We called it the farm (as in the only farm because it's the only one we ever went to). I have fond memories of the farm--uncles showing me baby pigs, cousins, coffee time that included chocolate chip cookies, Grandma G who taught me some of life's most important lessons, tractor rides, and a lot of room to run and hide and make up games. On rare days, probably when it was too cold to be outside, we would play inside. In a tall wooden cabinet, there were games, toys, and books for kids. My favorite toy was a marble run.
Last fall when my Uncle Neal was here on a work trip, I mentioned this marble run to him. I don't even remember what made me think of it. But, I told him it was my favorite toy at the farm. Well, when Neal came back this Spring (on another work trip), he pulled this out of his suitcase.
From wood that Neal got from my dad, Neal made this marble run for my kids (or for me) and brought it all the way from Minnesota to the Czech Republic. Now, as I'm working on my computer or cleaning the kitchen, I often hear the sound of the marbles rolling down the marble run, and I smile because my kids are doing something just like me!