Create Memories for Your Children

Create Memories for Your Children

Rhonda RobinsonBy Rhonda Robinson5 Minutes

We all do it, or at least try. We save for trips to amusement parks, camping trips, and excursions to museums in the city. I’m willing to guess, if you don’t, you feel like you are missing out. That your children are somehow not getting what other children have, and you have missed out on creating childhood memories. You’re not. In fact, many of those who have succeeded in providing elaborate vacations and outings will tell you, the kids seldom rate it as high as you did.

Annual family vacations were out of our reach as our children grew up. Let’s face it, when you have nine children, just going to the grocery store is a major event.  It’s only natural to want to give our children the best, to want to give them more than we are actually able. However, while we strive to reach beyond our means, it’s too easy to overlook some of the most memorable gifts they will treasure for a lifetime.

As a parent, I didn’t see it until my oldest daughter recalled fondly one of her favorite childhood memories.

One morning I woke up early and had this idea. Before anyone else was awake, I snuck into my oldest daughter’s bedroom. She was maybe seven years old at the time. I gently woke her up. With one finger to my lips and the other silently motioning to her to follow, she slipped out of her bed and tiptoed out of her room behind me.

Not quite awake, she trailed me into the kitchen.

I poured her a cup of coffee and tied my apron around her waist a couple of times. (Yes. Coffee. Don’t judge me. My kids started early.)

Then I pulled a step-stool up to the counter. All the ingredients to make brownies were laid out before her. Her eyes lit up brighter than the sunrise streaming through the kitchen window. We made brownies together, for the first time, and I was her helper.

When her siblings begin to wake, they followed the sweetness that hung in the air that pulled them into the kitchen.

Perhaps you are one of those awesome moms, I always admired who has her daughter in the kitchen with her all the time.

I’m not. I’ve always been more of the too-many-things-on-my-plate kinda mom. You know what? That’s the whole point I want you to see. You don’t have to be a supermom. You don’t even have to be consistent.

You can create precious memories for your kids, with just a little effort. You can step out of the norm and tie a big bow of spontaneity around a very simple act.

My daughter loved that morning so much that I secretly vowed to make it a habit.

It never happened. As a mom, I added that failed expectation of myself to my long list of epic failures as a mom.

Nonetheless, to this day, as an adult, my daughter refers to “our brownie mornings” fondly. It became a treasured childhood memory. To her—it was a wonderful win.

Isn’t that what really matters? It sure is to me.

Over the years we have managed to come up with a few things that, without realizing it at the time, became special to our children. Often times the most memorable are the ones that we didn’t plan and save for, they were simply spontaneous and focused on one child.

  • Making a personal pot of tea.
  • Waking up a sleeping child and sneaking out before anyone wakes up for a “Donut Run.”
  • Smuggling children out in the middle of the night to wake up at their Grandparent’s house, or just pulling up to a Zoo.
  • Picking your child up from school early and getting an ice cream cone on the way home.
  • Jumping on the bed with your child.

Family vacations are marvelous. But don’t pin your hopes on them. Time is fleeting, and memories are deceptive. The next time a spontaneous and fun thought pops into your head, instead of smiling and thinking about how fun it would be, put that smile on her face. You will be surprised how much a simple memory will grow and live in the mind of a child.