Monday, January 19, 2015

Making Memories

Sunday our family was taking a day trip to a ski resort to go snow tubing. It is a fun tradition of ours to go once a year. On the one hour drive we were discussing places we wanted to go and things we wanted to see as a family. There were answers ranging from Hershey PA to Washington D.C. to London. It was fun to hear their ideas and to get the kids input even if we never make it to any of those places.

Out of the blue my 10 year old daughter said "Ya know what I think was so fun?, when we used to eat popcorn out of the big blue and pink bowls and watch a movie on the fat T.V. in the living room. We sat on the SpongeBob couch and we always picked Monsters Inc. It was a VCR tape movie."

I loved this story and thought it was so precious she would remember such an ordinary thing so fondly. The "fat T.V." has been gone for  three year, the bowls have been broken for four years and the two older kids haven't fit together on the SpongeBob couch for six years. I am pretty sure this memory was when she was 4 and her brother was 6. That was six years ago.

That's when it hit me. I was floored. We are making memories EVERY DAY doing activities we take for granted and think are no big deal. To children they are a big deal. It seems like as parents we think in order to make good childhood memories for our kids we need to plan elaborate vacations, take them places and do a lot of structured activities. We are over-thinking this idea. It simply is not true. The truth is,every single day we are doing little thinks that will turn into lasting childhood memories for them to cherish.

The things that will create memories might be:
-sharing family meals
-having cocoa when they come in from outside on a cold day or a popsicle on a hot day
-running through the sprinkler
-having a picnic in the backyard or the living room
-building blanket forts
-having a family movie or game night
-climbing trees
-playing on the swing set
-jumping on the trampoline
-having a pajama day on the weekend
-snuggling in mom and dads bad
-having a camp out in the living room
-having a tea party
-making and playing with homemade play dough
-having a fire and making smores in the back yard
-going for a bike ride or hike
-playing catch with a baseball or football
-playing basketball in the driveway
-raking leaves and trimming bushes then burning the brush
-playing tickle monster
-playing hot lava with pillows and  couch cushions
-putting on pretty dresses and having a recital in the living room
-reading books out loud
-making up a play and performing it for mom and dad
-sliding on the steps with sleeping bags

There are many more, I could list twice as many. All of these cost little or no money, just time and attention. These everyday moments are what the kids are going to remember much more than the day trips and week long vacations. I bet all parents have done at least half of these, making our children's childhoods happy and memorable. Parents, you are doing a great job making memories for your kids!

                   What is your favorite childhood memory?