Last week I piled both kids into the car, tapped my foot impatiently as my son’s fingers fumbled with his car seat buckle, then rolled my eyes as I remembered I left the water bottles on the kitchen island. A few minutes later, we were finally cruising down our street on the way to swimming lessons. Fiddling with the air conditioning, I half-smiled when my kids started chanting, “Music, pleeease! Music, pleeeease!” So predictable and so reminiscent of my brother and I doing the exact same thing.
With the click of a button, Beyonce’s If I Were A Boy filled the car and both kids were screaming, “My favourite song!” (They say this about pretty much every song they recognize.) And then my daughter said something that I can’t seem to get out of my mind.
“Mommy, when I hear this song I can see you cooking in the kitchen!” She giggled, probably because the image was of me not just stirring a pot or chopping veggies, but because I happen to turn into a rockstar in these situations – with the funky moves to prove it.
As she and her brother enjoyed the song, I got lost in my own reverie. My mom was also a rockstar (Bollywood actress/singer to be precise), and I can recall many kitchen moments with her as she belted out Hindi songs, shook her shoulders with her hands raised and giggled through her shyness. In the car, there were more moment like these. They were fun and they are imprinted in my being because they are a glimpse into my mom as a woman, not just a parent.
So to hear from my 6 year old girl that I was leaving some sort of a stamp, some kind of insight into who I truly am (a rockstar, of course) made me feel great! It wasn’t a conscious effort on my part – which got me thinking about a very important topic I seem to be bumping up against a lot lately: my legacy.
I’m not talking about the material possessions I will leave behind. I’m talking about the way people will remember me, the impacts I will have made on individuals and communities in my lifetime, the images of me conjured up by my adult children. My stamp. My mark.
“I Was Here.”
It’s not a morbid thought – it’s a motivating idea. It’s empowering and it is full of opportunity.
What are your thoughts on legacy? What are you consciously doing today to leave your mark on the world?