Dean Martin said it so well when he crooned "memories are made of this..." Because this is exactly what I set out to do, build memories with my girls. Does that happen by accident? Yes, I think sometimes it does, but I also think we have to live purposefully and make the most of each day. For me personally that means finding ways to enhance the here and now in a natural way, but to be very "present."
When thinking about my own childhood, I remember "grand" events here and there, a few special Christmas gifts or outing to a circus once where I dressed so shabbily that we had to stop on the way and buy me something suitable to wear. Funny how that trick never worked a second time... My fondest memories however, are times that my mom woke me in the middle of the night for a picnic in the living room, or my sister and I dared each other to run through our nasty backyard pond, swimming for hours in the river on our annual summer vacation, playing mermaid in our pool, playing games with my grandparents, trying to put on shows for money in our living room, and this list could easily drag on for miles. I remember the seemingly insignificant, way more than the uber planned and extremely momentous occasions. Why is that? I can't explain it, but it gave me this exciting revelation that I could actually begin creating happy memories with my girls just by making the most of little pockets of time and savoring them, then talking about them, and asking what they like and don't like... looking for ways to surprise and delight them. I've become a more spontaneous and happy person in just 3 days.
I've always trotted a little off the beaten path when it comes to my parenting style and I offer no apology about that. I am SO proud of my girls and I don't take full credit for who they are by any means, but I do applaud myself for sticking with my methods even when questioned. My girls are open and free spirited, but polite and fairly well behaved (they are kids, so yes, we have tantrums, tears, ect.). This new idea though makes me feel like I have SO much more to learn about being a mother and as I read recently "A treasure house for happy memories." That's what I want for my girls. I want them to recall times like I do, when my dad read to me in "voices" at bedtime or bursting into song in the car just because. As silly as I have always been, I am stepping up the game for myself and enjoying my days as a child again. How lucky to have a window and connection to youth such as young children, I am beyond blessed, but to also have the chance to grow in friendship with these incredible girls as they begin to mature....does every mom feel as unworthy and truly grateful as I do?!?! I'm out of words now, with tears in my eyes all I can do is sit and muse over how much love I can have for these little ladies.
Below are some pictures from our sunset adventure a couple days ago. Nothing more than a quilt, some snackies, and a short hike...but I will never forget this evening and I hope they won't either.
"The days go slowly, but the years go fast." - Gretchen Rubin