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Hunter building memories with friends
If someone were to ask you to describe your parents, you would most likely describe them based on memories from childhood coupled with what you've learned about them as an adult. You know a very different face than the rest of the world knows. And, when it comes to who you are, much of that is based on childhood memories that you may not even be able to actually recall. Of course, sometimes limited recollection is best. But that's not our hope for our own children.

When I hear the term "mother" or "mom", all I have are faded memories, which isn't really fair to her. She died at the age of 30. Can you imagine if your life stopped at 30? Do you realize how stupid we are until we get in our 30's? Our relationship never got to evolve like the one with my father did.

So, when I had my son, I had this thing in the back of my mind. First off, for some reason I thought I was going to follow my mom's path and die before Hunter turned 9. And, if that was going to be the case, I wanted him filled with good memories. That's pretty much been my method of parenting.

Hunter and I have some great talks. He's very insightful and compassionate. He doesn't have the memories that I had at his age, which caused so much bottled rage and self-loathing. He does have some bad memories of me, more than I would like.

We can't give our kids a candyland memory. But, if we keep it in the back of our minds that today's events are tomorrow's memories, it helps us to offer our kids more than we would if we didn't care what their memories were.

Hunter doesn't remember it, but I remember the first time his bare feet touched the soft grass of spring. That's a wonderful parenting memory for me, but it doesn't mean a lot to him. And sometimes, the things I thought were going to be bad memories for him, or at least memories that didn't make him proud of me, those end up being some of his most cherished. Like when I forgot that I had to pay the electric bill and the town I ha to pay it in was an hour ahead of us. We lost power for a day or two. I felt like a horrible mom, but we snuggled on the couch and read books by candlelight and it ended up being one of his favorite memories.

I guess I'm just saying that we get so busy that sometimes we forget we're stockpiling memories in our kids. What do you want them to stock up on?

7 comments:

  1. "Today's events are tomorrow's memories"...I like that - how poignant! This was a lovely reminder to be in themoment with your child.

  1. I so understand this kind of love and devotion and how hard it was for you to open your heart up to let him wiggle in for a nice long stay.
    ♥ So happy for all of you.

  1. I have no idea how this happened, that comment above was for your "new love" blog.

    This one is totally different...obviously!
    Our babies memories are for them to sort and hold or let go, we can just live in love with them and try to sprinkle in some magic here and there. We all do the best we can and hope that some of our favorite memories are theirs as well.

  1. Lol Jo I noticed that. It kind of gave me a giggle. And..you're right. The best we can is all we have. That's usually enough though.

  1. Kathy, if I may suggest, Hope Edelman's Motherless Daughters has been a wonderful resource for me. My mother was 49 (still pretty young, IMO) and I was 10 when she died of breast cancer.

    Motherhood is a very charged concept for me. How could I be a good one, when there was so much I never got to learn? But, I did just fine, as YOU are doing just fine. I bet Hunter will look back o all his childhood with much love and appreciation.

  1. Thank for the suggested reading. I might have to look into that.

  1. My mother is still alive, but I do understand that rabid desire to create memories. Our sons face so much hardship that we have at times pushed ourselves to find the happy...perhaps to erase the pain. There are both good and bad points to it, I suppose. We have some fantastic photo albums! Lol.

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