Soon after reminiscing with my daughter about the many parties hosted in our home as she was growing up, I began reflecting on my own childhood. It's likely the tendency to make our home a welcoming place for my daughter's friends is yet another example of the legacy my folks passed onto me.
Throughout my childhood - and that of my three close-in-age siblings - Mom was part of every activity involving any of us. She was on the PTA, a chaperone on school trips, a den mother for boy scouts and girl scouts, served on the board of the Little League. Her whistle - used to gather the troops at mealtime - was known to everyone in the neighborhood. I can't recall one instance when a lingering friend wasn't invited to join us. More important, all my friends wanted to be there; my mother's warm glow was comforting.
Like many men of his generation, my Dad could be stern and wasn't particularly emotional. But he shared my Mom's sensibility about ensuring other children knew our home was safe. Even on the rare occasions when Dad lost his temper with my friends there, he was careful to direct his impatience at one of his own children rather than at a guest. And most important, Dad was respectful to Mom, especially when friends were nearby. I tried to emulate his model on those frequent occasions when my daughter's friends were in our home as she grew up.
What cherished legacy passed onto you by your parents did you replicate - consciously or not - when you began creating a life for your own children? If you haven't started a family of your own yet, but plan to do so, which cherished legacy have you decided is most worth preserving?