I’m big on memories. Memories are what makes a person who they are. I have so many wonderful memories from my childhood that I hold dear. The ones that make me smile, the ones that make me long for a simpler time and the ones that if I close my eyes and squeeze them real tight, I can imagine being right there again.
And then there are the not so good memories. Memories that evoke fear, sadness or regret, and ones that are still too raw to uncover.
But both good and bad, these memories have shaped me into who I am today. And will continue to do so.
One of the things I want for my kids is to have such wonderful memories of their childhood. I want them to be able to think back with fondness, a strong thumping heart and tears of longing for the little and big moments that define them. As a parent it’s my job to make sure the majority of their memories are the good hug-them-tight ones.
So the other day, when Miss 8 and I were having a little chill session, I decided to ask her what her best and worst memories are of her short life so far.
She both surprised and melted me with her answers.
1. When our Golden Retriever had her puppies. Nine little, fury white puppies who we cared for and watched grow from birth through to 8 weeks old when they left us to make their homes with their new families. Being a dog lover, this is one memory that I know will stay with her always.
2. Our trip to Disneyland. Miss 8 was only 4, so I was a little surprised that this was on her list. How dare I under-estimate the magic of Micky Mouse!!
3. When her baby sister was born. This one brought tears to my eyes and still so on typing it right now. Sisterly bonds. Even with how much they fight (read as: always), the love and bond with her little sister (now 6) is unbreakable.
When it came to her 3 worst memories, I braced myself… but she responded with
“I can’t think of any Mum!”
And oh how my heart filled with happiness!
When I prompted her we recalled a few things such as her breaking her arm two weeks before her first ballet concert, and when her older half-sister couldn’t come on a family holiday but these were only at a push.
I’m sure the older she gets the more memories, good and bad, she will add to the list. Some may even get scrubbed off for even better memories but I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to see my children creating these memories every day. This is what parenting is about for me. Holding their hands as they grow stronger and wiser each and every day. Until one day they will be adults and be responsible, mostly, for their own memories.
I don’t know of a better job. And I think, for the most part, I must be doing okay at it.
Have you asked your child this question?
What childhood memories have shaped you the most?