As my kids get older, their memories become more and more important to me. I'm becoming conscious of them on a daily basis, considering what they will remember from their childhood and from the time we spend together. Being aware helps me to cut down on my selfishness and remember to notice what they are doing and participate.
Yesterday we went to the park as it was a cool, crisp October afternoon and we wanted to enjoy it. The kids climbed all over the park and made up the usual games with each other while Jason and I sat on the grass and talked. They both asked me to go down the slide with them and I did what most moms do if they have the chance: I sent Jason. Then it looked like so much fun that I dragged myself up and joined them, racing down the double slides, playing hide and seek, and getting a little exercise while forming a positive memory for me and for my kids.
When I was a child, I loved playing games with my Granny and my mom, and I want my kids to enjoy those memories too. But somehow, the daily grind takes over and weeks can slip by before we crack out the cards or a board game and spend that time together as a family. I want to be more intentional about this area. I love it when they say, "Remember that time I had some hotels in Monopoly and you kept landing on my property and you lost all of your money?" Not that I particularly love that memory, but they are only seven and four and they have that memory already cemented, and that's what counts.
I don't want to play Russian Roulette with their memories; leaving them up to any form of chance. I want to be involved as they are forming their memories, and help guard and protect them from unnecessary outside stress and chaos. I am so excited about this Christmas, as it will only be the second one in Ava and William's lives to be at home, in their own house with us, on Christmas morning. No rushing to be somewhere to open presents, just a relaxed morning in their own home with their new toys and gifts. This is a future memory that I am standing by and protecting, and eagerly anticipating for myself.
Childhood is filled with magical experiences. All major holidays are so exciting to kids, and I have so much fun pumping up that excitement for them. It makes us adults like kids again ourselves. I want to pay closer attention to what is happening for my children on a daily basis, because before I know it, this stage in their lives will be gone forever, and will only remain in all of our memories.