We have a little saying between the wife and me and I’m sure many families say the same thing, it’s ‘making memories’. We use that for all the special things we do as a family. We want our kids to have special memories that center around our family that they will hopefully cherish for the rest of their lives.
This past week was a short family vacation centered on two days at Legoland. The kids have been waiting for this since February when we announced we would be going when dad got back from his deployment. These are the kind of ‘family time’ things that both me and the wife thought would make the list of our kids special moments, those ‘making memories’ moments. The kids love it as I am sure all kids do but it surprises me and the wife that these are not the big items in the ‘making memories’ treasure chest of our kids.
I asked my oldest who just turned 7 last month what is his favorite memory, one that makes him very happy. I figured Legoland would come spurting out from his lips without hesitation. But, to my surprise, he hesitated and then said “when you and mom pick me up from school, I really like that”. My jaw probably dropped a little because I did not expect that answer. Like I said, I expected Legoland or the birthday party at the zoo or some other big event.
That got me to thinking about my ‘making memories’ moments from my childhood. I can think of several from family gatherings to trips taken. However, there are three moments that top the charts of my past. First, is the weekends I spent at my grandparents. We never did anything really special or extraordinary. We did basic things together. My grandma taught me to fish for bluegill in Wolverine Lake. Then showed me how to scale and gut them so we could eat them for dinner that night. My grandpa bought me a mini-motorcycle and taught me how to ride it. I could spend hours out in the yard riding that thing in circles. The second of my moments are the camping trips with my mom and dad and the camping club we belonged to. For the year or two that we belonged to that club I think we went out at least one weekend every other month or so during the camping season. My dad worked many hours and usually seven days a week so he usually was not there to get the camper to the park and set it up so my mom and I had to get it done. Mostly mom because I am sure I was not that much help because I sure don’t remember being any. But, other members of the camping club were always there to lend a hand. My dad would get there after work and finish up. It was at one of these camping trips that I decided I was too fast and my dad couldn’t catch me anymore. Boy, was I wrong and it is only now, after I have gained some years that I realize what he knew at that time, experience makes up for youth and speed.
There is one memory from my childhood that will always be the tops of my list for ‘making memories’. This is no vacation or big event. I mentioned that my dad worked long hours and usually seven days a week so obviously I did not get much time with him. He always took his lunch to work and had a lunch box. On his way home from work he would stop at a store and pick up a candy bar for me and put it in his lunch box. Thinking back, it is not the candy bar that is the great memory for me, it is that little act that told me that he loved me and was always thinking about me.
My eyes are now a little more open to what our kids may think are those special moments and what they will pack away in their ‘making memories’ treasure chest. It is not necessarily that extravagant and fun-filled family vacation to Legoland. It may be something as simple as picking your child up from school so they don’t have to take the bus or bringing them a treat after work.
Think back to your childhood, what are your ‘making memory’ moments? Are you writing them down so they are around longer than you? Will your kids have the same special memories?
Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ for that family.