A grandfather’s wish for his grandchildren:
These Things I Wish For You
Note: whereas this essay and riddle are both attributed to Paul Harvey, as it has circled the Internet for some time now. But Paul Harvey did not write it. The true author, Lee Pitts, published the nostalgic essay in 2000 in the book “Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul.” Paul Harvey does use material written by Lee Pitts from time to time and he did read this particular essay (crediting Pitts, of course) during his September 6, 1997 broadcast.
By Lee Pitts
We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse.
For my grandchildren, I’d like better. I’d really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.
I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen. It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.
I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in. I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother. And it’s all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he’s scared, I hope you let him. When you want to see a movie and your little brother wants to tag along, I hope you’ll let him.
I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely. On rainy days, when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don’t ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won’t be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.
If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.
I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.
May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole. I don’t care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don’t like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.
I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle. May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays. I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor’s window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.
These things I wish for you – tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it’s the only way to appreciate life.
Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I’m here for you. And if I die before you do, I’ll go to heaven and wait for you.
The poor have it,
The rich don’t need it,
And if you eat it, you’ll die?
This poem goes out to my buddy Angel, who forwarded the above story to me this morning; and who is now running a 55,000 acre ranch somewhere in eastern Oregon.
Angel is a dear friend and brother in the Lord of whom I still have fond memories of all those early morning Bible Studies held in his office in the wee hours of the morning… which by the way, Angel, I miss; and I also miss you buddy!
Angel has had a few tradgeties in his life, not the least of which was the loss of his youngest son several years ago; and so I know what this song speaks, Angel in fact lives!
As for the “Paul Harvey Story,” apparently though this story has been attributed to Paul Harvey, and though Paul Harvey did use it on a 1997 radio broadcast, he didn’t write it; and also the same is true of the riddle as well; but nevertheless, regardless of who wrote it, I think it contains a very important message for all of us today… young and old alike!!!
Whether we are grandchildren or adults, or somewhere in between, the Bible is very clear on this point, that God is not interested in our “happiness” as much as He is our conformity into the image and likeness of His Son, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (Jesus, the Christ—Anointed One)… of which the Bible says that He learned obedience through the things that He suffered (Hebrews 5:8)!
Jesus said that in this world we shall suffer tribulation, but for us to be of good cheer, which speaks of our attitude while in the midst of tribulation; and Jesus also said that He came that our “JOY” may be complete!
Understand this, that “JOY” is quite different from “happiness!”
Happiness depends on pleasing circumstances, minus trials; but JOY is quite a different thing all together!
Joy has to do with our foundation in life, in that which undergirds us in our times of trouble, and that which gives us the reason for our hope and our joy in the midst of severe trials and tribulations, which is Jesus Christ, our Lord, and our relationship with Him!!! Selah