Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Childhood Memories

What is your favorite childhood memory? Quick. Don't think too long or hard, just the 1st thing that pops in your head. No pressure, just what stood out for you?

I will share a couple of mine.

My granny spinning us around and around on an inner tube in her pool. She would sing "She'll be coming 'round the mountain when she comes..." and it seems like she just sang it without stopping. I'm sure, looking back, she really would have liked to sit in a chair by the pool silently while we entertained ourselves. But she didn't.

Another one with my granny was that, as a treat, she would let my sister and I eat cereal (the smacks one with the frog on the box) in the living room. We had to lay on the floor over a towel, but it was the highlight of our days.

My sister and I used to come home and stay by ourselves until our parents got home. I won't share our age because Lord knows you would all have a stroke and die before finishing this post. We got home just in time to make ourselves a snack, throw down our back packs & turn the TV on to Are You Afraid of The Dark. Remember that one? It scared us out of our skin. My mom ALWAYS timed her call right at the end of that show. She would call on her break from work to make sure we made it home. We weren't allowed to answer the phone so we had to run to the other side of the house and listen to the answering machine for her to say "girls, it's mama, pick up" and then we could answer and tell her we are home, being good, cleaning up, doing homework, whatever... we weren't, we were watching scary ass shows. She didn't know then, and maybe I didn't get it either, but now I know, we needed to hear her voice.

We used to live next door to my granny and grandpa. But the driveways are long out in the country, so we made a hole in the fence so there were no delays getting back and forth. Can you imagine how pissed my grandpa must have been when he discovered what we did?

We went on big expensive vacations every single year. We got a new outfit for every day of the 1st month of school each year (and sometimes again for 2nd semester). We were allowed to join every club, or sport we wanted.. my mom spent the extra money for private lessons so we were the best. My dad worked, at one point, 3 jobs so that we could go on every single field trip, write a check instead of sell chocolate door to door, get those French mani and pedis that all our friends had, and even highlight (and, Lord help me, perm) our hair way too young. They spent money, honey. And trust me, we appreciate it, especially now that we understand the value of that mighty dollar... especially now that we understand after a full day of work, all you want to do is come home and relax, not rush off to play taxi, or even go to 2 more jobs.

Do you notice something about the 1st 3 memories that came to my mind though? They didn't cost a thing. They weren't set in Cinderella's Castle, they didn't happen when we were dressed perfectly or in front of a camera lens. They happened on normal days. They happened every day.

You know what else stands out about those memories? I can't remember if there were dishes in the sink, laundry on the couch waiting to be folded, or how pinterest-worthy our snacks were (except the cereal in the floor thing... I am fully aware how NON-pinteresty that meal was).

As parents, we have this huge burden of responsibility. We are in charge, we have absolute control, over our children's childhood memories. It's a lot to take on... but what an honor it is! I try to focus on the excitement than the pressure. I try, too, to remind myself that I don't get to pick and choose which days stand out to her in 20 years. I don't get to save up all year and cram her memories into 1 long weekend on vacation. It doesn't work like that. We are making memories this very second. Right now, she is napping, and I am rushing to push out this post. It is weighing heavy on my mind today, for some reason. So I decided to sit down while she was sleeping, bang it out, and then put away the computer for the rest of the night.

Tonight, I am making memories with my daughter. Memories that don't include being told "go play in your room" or "mama is busy right now" or sitting next to mama while she types or checks social media. Tonight, I am remembering how quickly these first 3 years went... I am determined not to let the next 3 go by as fast. Not to let them slip by telling myself- and my precious daughter- that we will make those precious memories "later" you know... when life is settled, when the laundry is done, dishes are put away, my bank account isn't in the red, I lose a couple pounds, she gets dressed...
Those things will still be waiting for me tomorrow. But my chance to impact her today? I will never again get this day back.

So that's what I'm doing tonight... what are you doing?

 

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