The Making of Memories

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I have lots of great childhood memories…playing softball with my entire extended family in the hot summer sun, catching fireflies in the evening shadows and the pungent smell of campfires and burned marshmallows. I remember the ice cream eating contest my mom held for the neighborhood, and the time my parents didn’t kill my brother and I when we accidentally set the woods behind our house on fire…ahh, those were the days!

Yet memories are slippery and hard to hold on to. I think that is why so many of us blog, journal, take thousands of pictures and scrapbook. “Momnesia” aside, time is impossible to hold on to, and each day melts into the next.  Personally, I have trouble remembering what life was like even last month! My brain tends to upload life’s recent events, and overwrites the previous month’s happenings.

Yet, I enjoy replaying the larger-than-life events of my childhood….trips to Kennywood Park and spending time at my pap’s camp, where we would wash our hair in the freezing cold spring and get monster headaches. I remember birthday weekends at my aunt’s house, complete with an endless supply of sugary cereal. While much of my childhood is long forgotten, and what remains are wispy, blurry snapshots, I long to recreate some of those fleeting memories for my children.

Remember the 1998 movie “Stepmom” with Julia Roberts and Susan Saradon? Sarandons character has cancer, and knows that her time with her son and daughter is limited. She takes her daughter for this incredible midnight horseback ride in the snow, and creates equally purposeful memories for her son. Of course I realize that a movie is different than real life, but I continue to dream of the memories I might be able to create for my kids.

At only 13 months old, Jonathan and Faith aren’t going to remember the neat trips to parks and play areas. They won’t remember bike rides, long walks, playing in water fountains or their first ice cream cone. But as they grow older, I hope to add to their repertoire of memories…I want so badly to be the kind of mom who wakes her kids up to watch a lighting storm, who serves ice cream for dinner once a summer (saw that on Jon and Kate Plus 8 ), and who embraces fun, dirt and messes, well, at least sometimes.

Share with the HDYDI moms your strategies for making memories with your families! What type of MoM do you strive to be?

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10 thoughts on “The Making of Memories”

  1. Hi! My biggest thing is that I really try to embrace all that life has to offer with the kids.
    I try not to over schedule them with dance, sports, clubs, what have you, so that all of us can spend time together as a family. I think it really is so important and I think a lot of people forget to do it.
    Sure, it is great to have your kids involved in activities, but even better if you are busy doing it with them. KWIM?
    I always also try to include ALL of the kids, not just the older ones. Not much is off limit with the babies (my twins). If we go to the movies as a family, they do too.
    And honestly, because they have been “along for the ride” from the begnning, they are so well behaved and used to it all.
    I too want those same great memories for my kids like I had from my childhood! :)

  2. Great post, Krissy! I know, my kids will not remember the three times they went to Florida in the last six months (gah!), but I really hope I can keep doing fun things with them even as air travel gets more complicated with them.

  3. I’ve been writing about this this week … creativity. I just want to make sure they get that life doesn’t have to be all neat and clean and perfect. That we can learn, make mistakes, and learn some more. I also hope that they will love being creative in whatever they do.

    That said, I take a million photos and make movies, blog, create images and also send them to relatives, of course. Blogging is my way to remember the memories but I also keep notes on the other stuff that’s not bloggable.

    Great post!

  4. Krissy, that was an awesome post. I love when my family gets together and we ‘remember when’ I have started a scrap book for each of my kids and hope one day they will appreciate all the memories. That’s funny about Kennywood- my 13 yr old went last summer and she had the best time.

  5. These are such great things to think about. Lately I’ve been trying to remember to take photos of what we’re doing or seeing rather than just the kids so when we look at photos together, it’s not all “there’s you looking at a horse… there’s you watching a band…”

    I think exciting things like new cities and parks and zoos are great ,and we’re trying to do those things. But some of the memories I care more about making are the rituals of everyday life. Some of my memories are the enjoyable things we did every year, or even every week. So we have pizza night once a week. We go swimming at our local pool. We pick blackberries in the yard (now I realize I need photos of that, thank you!). We celebrate holidays together. I hope we can create memories of big things, and memories of the rhythm and ritual of life, enough so that they will want to recreate some of those rituals with their own children.

  6. What an interesting thing to think about. I’ll have to ponder what kind of memories I want my kids to form—cooking dinner with Daddy? Vacations at the beach? Big holidays with family?

  7. One thing my family did (although not until I was older) was force each kid to do a list of 5-10 TTR (Things to Remember) about each trip/experience. Once the kids can talk maybe if you ask them their “favorite” thing you can include it in a photo album caption so as not to forget (Snapfish and others lets you caption and make photo albums). Since we all blog I know we all value hanging on to our memories!

  8. Reading this post just made me think of things from childhood I haven’t thought about in a long time. I think my happiest moments were the ones that just sort of crept up on us. They were not big trips or special parties. They were just ordinary things that turned into something fun in the moment. My parents always indulged our imaginations and creativity (not that you can tell that now as I am decidely UNcreative!) and some of the best times were things like camping out in the backyard – although we pretended it was a mountain – or fishing in the pond by our house – hoping to catch the “loch ness monster”. Just living and making something fun out of day-to-day life, that’s what I hope our memories will be all about. I do hope to take more pictures than my parents, though. The were famous for starting a roll of film on Christmas and finishing it the following Thanksgiving – haha! Too busy “enjoying” to stop and take pictures, is what they always said.

  9. This was such a great post! I really have trouble with change & time passing by (which is probably why I am the family ‘archiver’ and make scrapbooks. Although, recently my obsession is with Blurb – it takes a lot less time to put pictures into a digital album than into an actual album!).

    Anyway, thanks for reminding me to stop planning so much for the future and focus on the memories I’m making right now! (which is a lesson that applies to all of us – even people without children like myself!)
    :) Becky
    http://www.stinkylemsky.typepad.com/

  10. We are parents to an only child so for me it feels very important to create a ton of memories and do fun things that Sammy will remember and thanks to the digital age he can with 200 pictures of the same shot. But as he grows older I want to not only create memories but also traditions.

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