I always think of writing this post near the end of my kids’ baths because something really cool happens then.

When my oldest was an itty-bitty 5 pound newborn, there was a lot I was unsure of about taking care of such a tiny creature. One such thing was baths. How would I manage this feat with only two hands? How would I hold on to a slippery little thing while using a washcloth to gently wash…which part first? And who was going to put that dab of bodywash on the cloth for me while I was gripping this teeny human?

My girl’s first bath was in the special care nursery by a nurse we called Sergeant (she was definitely in charge!). I was so grateful for this woman who showed me how to enjoy this time with my little – but feisty – baby!

When we brought her home, I relaxed even more during bath time and I found myself saying something when baby was all scrubbed up and the water was ready to be drained. “Bye, bye Water…thanks for making me clean!” This became a part of every bath.

When my daughter was a toddler, she chimed in, too. She’s 7 now and she still says it. Sometimes it sounds very matter-of-fact (Thanks, Water, for making me clean) and sometimes she reverts to the sing-songy original. But every time I hear it, it fills me with a certain satisfaction.

This recent conversation was like the cherry on top.

Me: Why do you say that at the end of your bath?

She: To make the water happy!

Me: Why do you want to make the water happy?

She: Because it was so kind to clean me up.

I’m hoping that this awareness helps her make choices around water conservation as well as keeps her forever grateful for the things we can easily take for granted.

I have done the same with my son and I’m repeating it with the baby. (Although, she screams when she hears me say it because she knows it means bath time is over!)

It’s one of those things that when my kids are old and grey and they’re remembering their crazy mother, they’ll be able to say to each other, “Remember when she got us to thank the water after every bath? She was so funny…and the Best. Mother. Ever!” (Hey, it’s my vision – I can make them say whatever I want!)

When I encourage people to think of the legacy they will leave behind, these are the things I’m talking about. The bits of you, the things you value, and the ethics you live by, all fit into the perfect package that will remain. You don’t have to be a mother to impact future generations. Share yourself with your community. Get involved in the things that are important to you. Voice your opinion and be a voice for someone who isn’t able to use theirs.

What is a part of you that you hope will have a lingering effect? Please share in the comments!