Treasured Memories of Childhood

Every day we wake once more with the sun. We help them brush teeth, make beds, get dressed.

We pack lunches, wash dishes, fold laundry. We sing that favorite song as we take their hands to walk across the street.

We cook meals and wipe noses, teach them to wash hands and say prayers.

Often we may not recognize the worth of these small little scraps of time, pieced together like a treasured patchwork quilt, making something grand they will treasure for years to come.

The thought rises to me through the steam of my tea kettle and the wind gusting through the fall leaves as we walk to the park:

It really is deeply meaningful, this ordinary life we live with our children each day.

Sometimes in the quiet moments, we may dream of how we can make their childhood more exciting, more adventurous, more meaningful, even more secure. Something more than what we are already doing.

Lately I’ve been asking myself the question: What moments do I treasure most from childhood?

 

Me and my mom when I was a teenager

Memories of Childhood

My Dad was a pilot and so we traveled often because of his job. I had the privilege of going to many states, Europe once, and Hawaii multiple times. While I enjoyed those trips, my favorite memories of traveling as a child were the hiking and camping trips we did as a family.

We made up silly songs in our camper, caught fish in the lakes, ate on tin plates by the campfire. These trips didn’t cost much, but left deep impressions in my heart: the smell of pine trees, the cold evening air, the sound of the birds in the morning, snuggling next to each other in our sleeping bags.

What I remember loving the most about childhood were the very things that I often think of as “ordinary” now that I am a mother:

The honey lemon tea my mother made when we were sick.

The clean fresh sheets I snuggled into at bedtime after a long day.

The cherry tree my dad turned into a treehouse for me and my brother which we played in daily, our hands stained with the goodness of ripe red fruit in summertime.

The swing in our yard that we did tricks on each day; We felt we could soar above the heavens somehow.

A hand made cabbage patch doll my mother took weeks to create for me (that my children still play with today).

The hand-sewn dresses and purses she made with love, sometimes to match her own. The pictures we took of the two of us together.

Watching my father go on his 23 minute jog each day, one day joining him, and then eventually beating him as a teenager on the same path he had tread for years.

And most of all, my mother’s listening ear when I got home from school each day, ready to hear all my news.

Their loving presence, ordinary and regular yet strong and constant in my life was what I remember being the most meaningful aspect of childhood.

When your mind and heart begin to fatigue as you change the hundredth diaper of the day or don’t have a clue about dinner, remember: it’s not necessarily the exotic trip, the newest toy, or the mastered Pinterest projects that your kids will remember most about their childhood.

It’s the people that matter most: Parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, neighbors, and siblings.

And the ordinary, repetitive places and events in their days that cut deep grooves in their memories like a favorite song played again and again.

All the love that flows through those little scraps of time and everyday moments of togetherness will fill their hearts full, preparing them for the day they will step out on their own into the world.

What are your favorite memories from childhood? I would love to hear from you!

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