(MCT) — When my husband was younger his parents used to say the same thing to him and his brother every time they left the house: Remember who you are. It didn't matter if they were heading to school, out with friends, on a date, or embracing the freedom of adulthood, they always told them the same thing.

These were their words of wisdom, gained throughout a lifetime of knowledge and experience, that never failed to accompany their sons along their own paths. Even after my husband and I were married I noticed that his parents continued to say those words to him and even began saying them to me on an occasion when they felt I needed them.

I appreciated the sentiment, but never understood why those words were important until I became a mother.

I find myself passing on those words to my children as they begin their adventures into the world. When they head out to school we remind them to remember who they are. When they head out to play at someone's house or attend a birthday party we make sure they hear those words. And, recently at dinner my daughter questioned 'why'?

"Mommy, why is it important that I remember who I am?"

At the young age of 5 she wants to understand what it means to remember who you are and why it is important. I thought about it, knowing that I wanted to give her an answer that she understood and satiated her curiosity.

I thought about how a good foundation at home is the start of developing character. I wanted to explain that her daddy and I work very hard to instill in her the values and beliefs that will serve her well in the world. I wanted to explain that we try, through lessons, prayer, and love, to teach her how to be a good person, an honest person, and a kind person. I wanted to remind her that one of the only things she'll have when she enters the world is her name, her word. I wanted to tell her that remembering her roots and the good that is her family and her support is like a reassurance that someone is holding her hand through it all. I wanted to tell her that she is unique, special, and a child of God, and remember who she is will always serve her well.

I wanted to tell her all this even though much of it could not be understood at the age of 5 — and possibly not even at the age of 15. So, instead of telling her all that I felt, I answered simply

"Because I said so."

She said 'OK' and continued with her dinner. I was thankful that at that moment my answer was enough.

An Original Deep South Moms Blog Post. ChristinaY is a freelance writer and mother of three. She blogs about her adventures and misadventures in motherhood at MamaNeena. (c) 2009, ChristinaY.