Last spring, my husband and I attended a seminar that focused on creating meaningful childhood memories for our children. I tend to think about this often—the fact that my youngest children are adopted may also play a part. I tend to look forward and wonder whether they will question whether their life would have been better if they hadn’t become part of our family. Although I
know this is nothing I should focus on (and I really don’t) but I would not be truthful if I said that it doesn’t pop into my head. But back on point, we went to this class to help us think about the childhood memories that our family has.
So we were given homework…….like we don’t already have enough. We were told to come up with a list of situations that will remain everlasting memories in our children’s lives. With three children, (JJ-pre-teen son, Princess –almost 6, and her twin, Bruiser), I had high hopes that this list will be packed full……………I came up completely empty except for the yearly apple picking trip, annual family vacations, our summer trips to Cape Cod and holiday celebrations.
Think…think…think. As I try to come with some other examples, I think about my days…..up at 6am to let dog out, wake up JJ, make breakfast, wake up our 5 yr. old twins, get JJ off to the bus stop, make sure twins are dressed, washed and teeth brushed, make their breakfast, wake up husband, feed dog, walk dog, make lunch for twins, feed husband, run out the door at 8:42 a.m. to get kids to school on time, go food shopping, pick up dry cleaning, go home and unpack food, grab coffee, time to pick up kids from school, attend to various temper tantrums and marathon pouting, look out for bus, prepare snack for JJ, help with homework, pick up some of the “toy” cyclone that has taken over our house, make dinner, eat dinner, clean up after dinner, prepare for baths, brush teeth, twins to bed, JJ to bed, husband to bed, walk the dog, and finally bed for me.
So that is what a traditional day looks like. No traditions…..no time for anything. My day is filled with running from one task to another. Now with this evaluation of my daily routine….there is no time to develop traditions that lead to meaningful childhood memories. The memories my kids will have are of a frazzled mom who runs around like a crazy woman---trying to do everything for everyone, all necessary things that need to be done but none that I deem memorable.
Unfortunately, this left me sad feeling that my life was not being lived to the fullest, especially in what I was providing to my kids. Good thing is that I was forced to evaluate my choices in life.
When I reported to the seminar leader, she made me realize that although they are not the easiest to identify but the memories are being created in even through the most mundane tasks.
So now the traditional day looks very different to me. Think….think….think. Up at 6 a.m. for some quality time with our cute and very loving dog, go into JJ ‘s room to wake him up with cuddles and a kiss on the cheek, make breakfast for the kids ensuring they have it just the way they want, wake up the twins…and let them know that they have 15 minutes to cuddle with their dad, making lunches has a whole new meaning as this is some mother/son time that JJ and I share as he eats his breakfast, I spend time chatting with Princess and Bruiser as they eat their breakfast and as I down my first of many cups of coffee and the list goes on.
I have learned that it is all perspective of how you look at things. My children will remember lots: how they help me bake in the kitchen, how Bruiser and I put together awesome Lego structures, how Princess and I work together on art projects, how all us root for JJ at his little league games, and most importantly, our family dinners—together. My kids will have wonderful childhood memories of a strong knit, loving family that is happiest when we are together—no matter what we are doing.