The idea appealed because I 'd like to think I am a woman with a bit to offer my kids, and God forbid I should cark it (die) before imparting all my little gems. So I started the list there and then, and it stayed in my handbag for a week or two as I kept jotting down my ideas. Trivial, serious, facetious, humourous or life-defining, I wrote them all down. Even now, there is still more wisdom to impart, and I keep a running list handy. At irregular intervals I plan to gather up books, pen and list and add a few thoughts.
The real question was into which book would I write my final copy? Then I remembered the tiny books my mother had brought back from Korea. Handmade paper was just perfect, and the small size meant I would not be trying to fill the last page after old age stole my memories. The styling is classic, understated and not girly. I got out my grandmother's silver Parker fountain pen, which lives in my wallet, and began writing. For a perfectionist this is torture, worrying over every stroke and word. But I reminded myself that my girls would be reading my thoughts, not inspecting my handwriting. If I had such a book in my grandmother's hand I would certainly treasure it, mistakes and all. Actually I do have some letters from one of my wonderful grandmothers, and they are very dear to me.
So I copied my 'rules' into the books, each as identical to the other as humanly possible, and wrapped them up for my beautiful girls. They said the little books were their favourite gifts (clever girls that they are). I know that after they have outgrown the clothes and toys, after the electronics are antiquated, they might still love these gifts.