Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Advice for my girls

One evening not long before Christmas I was surfing the net and came across this website, 1,001 Rules for My Unborn Son. I was so enchanted with the idea that I immediately shut it down and started writing rules for my already born daughters. Had I continued to read it I would have compromised my originality, you see.

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.


  1. Aww, I love this idea. I have no doubt in my mind your daughters will appreciate this so much! The advice you put are not only true, but very applicable.

    Also, I have to say I love the book you used! And I also enjoyed reading your description of it. It's very The Thirteenth Tale-ish. (by Diane Setterfield) Have you read it?
    Keep writing! I really think your blog is one of the most unique and interesting, that I read and follow.

  2. +JMJ+

    What a great gift for your girls!

    When I was younger, an aunt wrote two original fairy tales for my cousin and me. She wrote them out on regular loose-leaf letter paper, and soon we had totally worn them out. Now I wish she had written them in good quality notebooks that would have had a chance of surviving for more than a year!

  3. Thanks, ladies. I really enjoyed writing for my girls, and loved the books my Mom gave us.

  4. GREAT POINTS!! I especially like 20, because how true is that?

  5. What a wonderful idea. I'll bet you will surprise yourself as your entries will change as you and the children get older.

  6. Linda, I am sure I'll have to add something about riding in cars with boys. Lesa could tell some stories...

  7. Oh yes, Lesa could tell plenty of stories! Cars, dunebuggies, motorcycles-- but mums the word. So many fun crazy adventures...

    DeLynne, What a wonderful thing to do for your girls! You have a beautiful soul.

    The silk advice is familiar. Did that come from your Musser?

    I have all the letters from my grandmothers but would love to have something like this-- from them or my mother.

  8. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L... A rare gem indeed. I got a kick out of number 2, and 32 is priceless. ladies are making me think... (smile)

  9. Lesa, Musser did say that. Funny, her memory lives on, she's had quite a few mentions in fb threads lately...

    RYCJ, I think 32 is very special. It's a quality I admire in my husband that I am trying to do better myself. He's a good man.

  10. oops, Jillian, I missed you question in the first flush of comments. No, I have not read Diane Setterfield yet. I will look for her in my next book gathering expedition. Thanks for the hint and the compliments!


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