Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What Kids Want Most, Part 2

My last blog post was about the best and worst Christmas present under our tree this year. If you missed that short, but zinger of a read, you can find it here. The Christmas present reminded my husband and me that children really do spell love T-I-M-E. Writing that blog post reminded me of a story I once heard, again about what children need most. I googled and found the story for you. And I sprinkled the story with these sweet Pinterest images, which you can find on my parenting board if you want to know the original source.

Here's the story (found here when I googled)

A middle-class family in the 1940's set a family goal of remodeling their old bathroom. After a year of financial sacrifices they finally had enough cash for the project. At the family conference held to finalize the plans one of the children suggested, "Why don't we use the money for a trip and fix the bathroom next year?" Even though it involved a change in plans everyone liked the suggestion and that summer they took the money and went to Yellowstone National Park. 

With the money spent, the saving started all over in order to do the postponed remodeling the next year. When it came time to hire the contractor the family's conversation drifted to how much they had enjoyed the trip to Yellowstone and the inevitable suggestion surfaced: "Why not put off the bathroom for just one more year and take another family trip?" They all agreed. 

This scene was repeated every year from 1940 until 1950 when the youngest son was killed in Korea. On the night before his final battle he wrote a letter to his parents. The letter arrived months after the family had been notified of his death. There was a special emotion as Mom and Dad sat in their living room to read to each other their son's last words. 

In this touching letter the young soldier expressed a premonition that he might soon die. He thanked his folks for their love and the many happy experiences of growing up, especially recalling the annual family trips they all shared. 

 Long silence followed the reading as both quietly wept. The silence was broken when the dad asked, "Honey, could you imagine a son writing home on the night before he died and saying how glad he was for a fancy new bathroom?"


Oh, let's be intentional about planning some experiences with our kids that will build our relationship with them, that will build their relationship with their siblings, and that will create wonderful memories of their childhood.


  1. Amen Su. Trying to plan our summer vacation now. As the kids get older it is so hard to figure out a time that is good for everyone. These annual vacations mean the world to me now and i hope someday they will look back with fond memories and pass on the tradition with their family.

    1. Yes!! My husband would rather spend his money on family vacations than anything else. We'll save on the groceries, on going out to eat, etc. if it means we can get another family vacation in. Thanks for leaving a comment :)

  2. Wow..this touched my heart...this year we posponed saving for a new bathroom because I wanted to switch gears and save for a fireplace. Last February when my son was deployed to Afghanistan, changed the plan again. First we thought we would fly the whole fam to his base when he returned. Then my husband said, "lets fly everyone to Disney instead!" We just took that trip in December! Disney really is the happiest place on earth! The trip gave us all something to look forward to. We saved all year for this....and my son wrote about seeing us all in Disney every time we chatted on fb...priceless!

    1. Your comment made me smile. And thanks to your son for being brave and dedicated. And thanks to your son and you and your husband for sacrificing in big ways to keep my family safe and for the freedom we have here in this country. Your family is appreciated much!!


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