I called difficult child and presented him my three choices for his graduation present. I let him choose between my grandpa's watch that comes with huge emotional baggage (especially to me), new watch with equal value or compromise there grandpa's watch is given to him, but it stays in my safety deposit box between (the rare) occasions he may want to use it. To the last option I was ready to add something smaller which would be more use to him currently, like the fancy headphones I knew he would like to have. For the boy with rather clear social skills problems he certainly knows how to pull my heartstrings. He so played me with this, I think. He told that he really wanted a grandpa's watch but because he is a scatterbrain he is, he is worried he would misplace or break it. So he chose option three, but instead of those headphones he would like to have a trendy watch in that same price range as those headphones. I gave him to the end of the week to find a one he likes so I have time to buy and have also that engraved. Okay, nothing wrong till this but somehow I ended up telling him that because he would really love those headphones too, I would tell about them to in-laws if they ask. And if they have something else in their mind for a present, I implied difficult child should probably write to Santa Claus about those headphones. Well, I guess I would have given him something more than socks and underwear for Christmas anyway. Right after the call I used my lunch break to get the grandpa's watch from bank and take it to the jeweller's to add difficult child's graduation date to the engraving. I really hadn't understood how much it meant to me to be able to do that. Whatever difficult child ends up doing with the watch over the years, I think that was worth it. And yes, if I come here to whine how difficult child has sold the watch to pay his gambling debts, you have my advanced permission to tell me that 'we told you so.' I don't know if I have a middle-age crisis or what, but being able to pass that piece of family history on, is huge to me. My family line can be traced far back and it is full of difficult children. Some who have achieved a lot despite of it and some who have just lost a lot. Highs have been high and lows have been low over the generations. Now there aren't really anyone but me and my sons left. I do have some third and fourth cousins, but my mother was the last one to carry the name. When younger I always rejected that legacy and wanted my 'white picket fence.' I got that and I have always tried to blend in to my husband's family, and despite there not being any love lost between me and my mother in law, I have merged well. I like husband's siblings and my father in law, I adore husband's granny and I feel blessed to have been able to raise my kids to be part of that family. But lately, maybe because of my difficult child and because how he so clearly comes after my side of the family, I have been thinking more and more about my roots. And instead of rejecting all that trouble and dysfunction I have started to slowly honour that legacy. There truly are many great achievements among all the heartbreak, chaos and dysfunction. Some of those achievements greatly outlive the troubles. I have started to learn, that for my sake and for the sake of my kids my heritage may not be something I should scorn at. And passing that watch to next generation, especially to my very own difficult child feels like big step to that direction. I know I'm not making much sense, but I'm feeling really good today. I can't know about tomorrow but today I'm very happy with being able to have my son's graduation date engraved to that watch.