Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hope Chests for Today?

My husband has been traveling a lot for work. I don't tend to sleep well when he travels. So I'll find myself up at 2 or 3 in the morning. I can't do much cleaning as I'm afraid I'll wake the boys. (Ok, that's not entirely true, there is plenty of cleaning I could do without worry that I'd wake them. I honestly think my body is exhausted, but my mind won't let me sleep.) So I tend to think. Anyone who knows me well, knows that this can be extremely dangerous!

My latest topic... Hope Chests.

I didn't have a hope chest, I didn't really know anyone who did. I don't know if it's just the area I grew up in or if it's my age (born in 1978.) I did of course know of them. They were something that women did way back when... and they were where young ladies and their families would place items for the lady's future home. Ok, there may be way more to it than that, but this was my knowledge of them.

I don't have girls, I have oodles of nieces, but in my home are boys. I remember what it was like when my husband and I first started off. We didn't have a big wedding with showers and gifts. We actually didn't get any wedding gifts. We already had our eldest son and my husband just graduated from college. It was hard! I still don't always think we've "caught up" with the people who were given many items as gifts. So when my children were born, I said that when they turned 13 I wanted to give them gifts for their future homes (or when the go off to college or whatever.) A little kick start so it wouldn't be quite so rough for them. Well, my eldest is now 14 and I can honestly say I didn't start that yet. It's not for the lack of wanting, it's I didn't have any idea what to get him. Sheets... what size will he have in the future? Dishes.... will he like the colors/pattern I pick out then? Basic utensils/cooking supplies.... maybe, but where to start? Small appliances.... they always come out with better and cheaper. I was too overwhelmed, so it was just given up on.

Now, I'm thinking again about it. Maybe I went about it wrong. I make things. I teach my boys to make things, at least basic skills. I teach my boys to cook and to sew and to clean (ok, not great by example, but I try.) I want my boys to be partners to their future spouse and to be able to care for themselves until they find the right person. I don't want them to jump into a relationship for a "mommy substitute" so someone can cook and clean for them (you all know what I'm talking about!) I want them to take pride in their home even if it's a dorm room. Maybe homey touches will help them.

I know a Hope Chest isn't traditional for boys. I don't care! Roles aren't the same as they were back in the 1800's or even the 1900's. So what now?

All this ranting and raving is fine, except, I'm not sure I'm any closer at deciding what to give/make my children for their futures.What about touches of the childhood memories for their future children, do those go in there too? Do I enlist my child's help or surprise them when they're older?

I really want to get a nice list together and get started on this. I am hoping to not only do this for my boys but for my sister's girls too. I know their fathers won't and I feel it is something I can do for them since their mom is no longer here to do it for them.

So what goes into a Hope Chest??

I did do a fair amount of Googling with very little results. 2 pages I found that had some inspiration are A Wise Woman Builds Her Home and Miss Abigail's Hope Chest, please if you have any ideas I'd love to hear them.