When my son was young he volunteered at an area soup kitchen with me. It was important that he learned compassion and empathy towards those less fortunate than we were. All of our children (young and old) volunteer and donate their time and recycled goods to numerous charitable organizations because my twin sister and I have taught them to “give back.”Teaching your children the value of giving rather than receiving isn’t an “easy task” because we live in a “I want it now society” where immediate gratification is often a “given.” Last week while talking to my husband about where I was with my Christmas List (needy families and seniors as well as the Salvation Army blanket drive), he asked me to recall 5 happy childhood memories that stayed with me. I thought the question was odd since one minute we were discussing my list and the next had jumped to my childhood but, after a few moments came up with 4. The list may surprise you as it did him but here it is:
My dad brought Jack In The Box to Cindy and I at school. While this doesn’t sound “remarkable” it was the only time my dad brought lunch and sat with us at school so it’s a memory that remains fresh in my mind, in fact I can still smell the French fries! Cindy and I had lunch regularly with all of our children throughout their school years based on how special that memory was to us.
Going to Knott’s Berry Farm and riding my very first donkey would be the next favorite memory. Where else could you ride a donkey at an amusement park?
Disneyland with two lifetime favorite rides- The Haunted Mansion and It’s a Small World.
The first Shrine Circus we attended. Many of my family members are Eastern Star, Mason and Shriners. Cindy and I were both Rainbow Girls. The excitement and flashy costumes amazed me and even today- I love the circus and theme parks because my father always made visits to them special and memorable. We never had much money but when we did- a fun park, carnival or circus trip was planned. This stayed with us both into adulthood and all of our children continue to enjoy the Shrine Circus, Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, and of course Disneyland!
I asked my husband Matthew what brought up this discussion? He told me that at 64 years old, he had only three “very special memories” himself and decided that this year along with giving the gift of giving from WorthamWorld, he had decided that we should give the twins the gift of three remarkable and memorable memories on their Christmas break from Austin Elementary. Our adventure began on Sunday morning with a surprise trip to Fossil Rim Wildlife Park.We arrived at the wildlife park the twins had visited with us five years earlier and forgotten the adventure. My husband was right- having a memorable adventure with your family beats opening a gift all day long! The girls laughed and laughed and got slimed with saliva and then excited at the next group of animals all over again. After a full day of fun at Fossil Rim, the twins were exhausted and full of fun family adventures which was exactly what my husband wanted, family memories are priceless to children and although I lovingly called him “Clark” based on my favorite Christmas show, he had a great time with us.
Yesterday morning, after Makenna completed the chore list while Maryssa “caught up on cartoons,” we headed over to Benbrook Stables for a family trail ride together Wendy Wortham on Periscope at Benbrook Stables @Texastwins2 my twin sister, Cindy Daniel Periscoped our adventure because she no longer rides due to a back injury. Cindy and I are compensating personality twins as our the little Texas Twins. Makenna takes after me while Maryssa takes after Cindy. Benbrook Stables was the second adventure for the twins aka Little Pawners, Maryssa and Makenna. It should be noted that Makenna is not only a perfectionist about everything- she’s also an adventurer and fearless. Maryssa is as far from it as you might imagine and when her horse decided to “do his own thing,” Maryssa had a freak out but the tour guide quickly got things back on track. Would Maryssa ride again? Probably not but, she will always remember the trail ride! Tonight’s last adventure on our “creating memories” Christmas is a helicopter ride to view Christmas lights from Meacham Field. While the twins have been on several plane trips- this will be their very first helicopter ride.
Our dad took us on a helicopter to Catalina Island and my son rode with me on a helicopter ride in Hawaiia and the Grand Canyon- my son still remembers both of those exhilarating rides viewing nature and our saucy pilot was a lot of fun for everyone, you could tell he loved his job!
While we “round up” coats and jackets to donate to the Senior Center along with blankets and books at WorthamWorld, I go over “one more time” with the twins how important it is to give to others and why I started a business based on people rather than profit. Did I expect my entire multigenerational family to “jump in” and be a part of Texas Twins Events and the Pawning Planners? No. But, perhaps by showing them the virtues of “giving back” while they were children, shaped them into giving back as teens and adults.