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I recently had an opportunity to ask my daughter what she remembered. Of all the hours and days and years I spent parenting that child, what were her favorite memories?
She was glad to be close to her siblings. I staunchly refused to referee in their little disputes when they were growing up. “He hit me!” “You two are going to be together for the rest of your lives. It is up to you whether that relationship is going to be a good one or a bad one. Now go downstairs and work out a compromise and then come up here and tell Daddy and I what you worked out.” When they were little, and arguing over a toy, we never bothered to find out who had “started it”. We immediately took the toy away and put it in the top of a closet. They got all their toys back on Sunday. Some weeks, that closet got crowded.
She loved the times we spent outdoors. Camping, kayaking, simply hiking through a local park. This is so easy to put together, and some of her very favorite memories came from these times together outdoors. She loved climbing trees and canoeing and hiking to have outdoor lunch on the top of 3,000 ft high mountain. A baby mountain, yes, but a challenge for a kid, and one of her favorite memories.
She loved our girly shopping days. It didn’t matter if our shop was at TJ Maxx, Nordstrom or a consignment store, what she loved was being together, just the two of us, and putting outfits together that let her feel classy, fashionable, womanly. We talked a lot as she was growing up about “what your style says about you and how it will impact people’s expectations of you”. She was grateful for those lessons.
She loved when Daddy would get up on a Saturday and make from scratch waffles with strawberry compote. She loved it when I decorated her locker the morning I had to leave for a business trip on her birthday (showed up at her school at 6:45 to do it, flight left at 8:10, that was a close one). She loved it when we would make buttered popcorn, sprinkle it with frozen Junior Mints and snuggle up in front of a movie. She loved it when we skipped the Super Bowl party and went skiing at a local resort. We had the hills all to ourselves and the night was gorgeous.
Make some memories this weekend, Mamma. Give them something to take to college with them someday. You’re both going to need it.