Extra sleep, to not do any cooking, to not do any dishes/laundry, and a walk in my favorite park.
Between our often hectic schedules, it hasn't always been possible to accommodate all those things. My family is getting pretty good at it, though. Most years, I sleep in, Hubster takes care of meals and dishes.
And we always get our walk in.
While we wandered through the woods under gray skies, the air heavy with the promise of rain, I thought more about what I hoped I gave to my children, more than any gift I would get that day.
We hunted Jack-in-the-pulpits and named off different wild flowers, while I thought about what I hoped I would pass on to them.
We ran thunderously across bridges and dropped sticks and rocks in the small creeks, and I thought about what they might remember me by.
I hope that I give my children a love of nature. I want them to enjoy wide open, empty spaces, the feel of wind and sun on their skins, and the sound of bird song, insect harmonies, and even silence. I want them to admire fragile, green growing things. I want them to feel awe under canopies of trees and breathlessness at views from mountain tops. I want them to feel protective of nature and what it has to offer.
I hope I give my children kindness. I want them to cheer for the underdog, advocate for the downtrodden, empathize with the battles others are fighting. I want them to hold doors and speak kindly.
I hope I give my children knowledge and the desire for education. I want them to lose themselves in books. I want them to realize that learning is life long, from our family's bird and plant identification books to our random Internet searches (that range from how tall was Napoleon and the origins of Mother's Day), there is always so much to learn. I want them to know that education can open nearly any door and pave nearly any path.
I hope I give my children a strong sense of family. I want them to know to much I love them, that I'm always in their corner. I want them to know how hard we've worked to make this family what it is. I want them to remember our little traditions and our big traditions.