Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Memories that Last a Lifetime

The holidays are such a wonderful time for me celebrating with friends, family, food, and own children!  Children make the holidays even more special--more meaningful and alive.  I stumbled across a quote a few months ago about how memories make such an impact, and yet, often as parents life is filled with such hustle and bustle that we don't stop to reflect on the memories we are making for our little ones.  "There were the years when the children were young, fast-moving periods when life flew by without time for the roots of deep reflection, and yet...memories were created whether one pondered them or not." When I read this, I could not agree more if I had said it myself.  We can so easily get caught up in what we (as parents) think is important or necessary during the holidays--or everyday life--that we miss out on memories-in-the-making. 

We may never know what is standing out as a fond memory in our children's lives.  For me, as a child the one holiday memory that stands out so profoundly I can almost see, feel, hear, and smell it is arriving home from school during the Christmas season.  I remember coming in the front door and hearing the sounds of Christmas music playing throughout the house--one of my mom's favorite records, no doubt!  I could smell Pledge dusting spray because she had likely been moving from one room to the next preparing for the holiday.  And, the air was warm with the scents of ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, molasses, and mom was baking!   This was Christmas to me!  I was oblivious to any worries or stresses my parents may have been facing:  How do we pay for all the gifts?  How do we prepare emotionally for visits with relatives?  How will we have the time to accomplish everything?  Children have this way of embracing the joys of the season with pure innocence.  Why burden ourselves so much when what may hold special meaning and stand out in our children's memories is almost completely out of our hands?  Every day is an opportunity for fond memories in the life of a child.  I want to share a poem that I read today, for the first time since I've been a parent.  It held such new understanding for me. 
One Wish of God
If God would grant me just one wish
To be enjoyed through life,
I would not ask for wealth or power
Or comforts, without strife.
I would but ask He touch my heart
And fill it--for this while--
With just the simple loves I knew
When I was just a child.

The kind of loves that made each day
A blessing to behold
And filled my heart with trust and faith
 In Him and human fold,
And this is all that I would ask--
To make my life sublime:
To live with just this kind of love
That, once, was yours and mine.

My aging years have proven, well,
The noblest gift on earth
Is not some gift we take from life
Of selfish, private worth.
It's what we carry in our hearts
To share and give away,
Such as the loves we knew--and grew--
Within our childhood days.

Michael Dubina

Memories are being made in our children's hearts and minds, whether we realize it or not.  Those memories live in our hearts; they last a lifetime; they take us right back to that childhood innocence, playfulness, and bliss.  I don't always remember this...I don't always do the best by my children.  But, my heart's desire and prayer is that I would make each moment count--that I would make each day an opportunity for a special memory to be made.  I may never know for sure when memories are being made, but truly they are. 

*Quote by Erica Bauermeister

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