Growing up every time I did something wrong it seems like my mother told me "We are a Family of Integrity." That is the family motto she and my dad set, and I wasn't an overly obedient child, so let me assure you I hated hearing that phrase. Some children seem to have a hard time being obedient, like as hard as they try they just keep making mistakes. I was not that child, if I disobeyed I did it with a clear idea of what I did. Now my mother would tell you I was mostly a good child, which I'm sure is true, but sometimes I loved being contrary, and it seemed like the times I choose to be contrary were the times my mother followed up with "We are a Family of Integrity", which just made me more angry, because how can you be contrary when you mother just told you that as a family we adhere to strict moral and ethical principles. I also quickly learned that saying you didn't want to be part of a Family of Integrity was not allowed. You may be allowed to disobey rules and suffer consequences, but not having Integrity was strictly unacceptable.
The point of all this, during my contrary years I despised that phrase but now as a parent I see why my mother always seemed to be quoting it to me when I was in middle school.
At least one of my brothers' families has made a family motto for his family, and over the last 5 or so years I've thrown the idea out to my husband. All the ideas I roughly thrown out over the years seemed to be wrong for my husband's vision of our family. Then last year for my birthday we went out to Tucanos and as we were waiting for a table we noticed the mission statement on the wall for Tucanos Inc or whatever the official title of the company is. At the time, my husband was learning about company mission statements in one of his business classes and so this provided us with a nice conversation. For class he had recently read some articles about various companies (Johnson and Johnson) and their commitment to following their mission statements. So that filled with more vigor to give our family a purpose. But we also talked about companies with mission statements who's actions are pretty contradictory. Also back in September I had a few conversations with various people about what legacy, traditions and goals we have for our individual families.
I was filled with new vigor but not a lot because I haven't done anything about it in 6 months. Some where along the lines, in the midst of my brain going loopy from all the legal gargon of house contracts. I've restarted my quest. Actually it the thought of a new start and beginning. What legacy do I want my children to remember, since we are starting in on the chapter of life that J might actually remember. We moved a lot over the past few years, but as adults my children won't remember any of it, this house we are moving into will be the beginning of their memories. Metaphorically where are we going as a family with this fresh start?
Although it turns out Johnson and Johnson has a credo not a mission statement. And that seems to ring a bell from my birthday date, we decided a family motto isn't working since I've yet to come up with something. Mission statements are... I have no idea the definition, but credo might be us? We agreed what format we want it to take, and decided, the best chance of success is me writing an overly long rough draft and Brent cutting what he doesn't like. Then it will be perfect for our family. At least that is what we agreed on last September, but maybe Brent was just high off the lack of children in our presence since we actually had a babysitter.