Monday, August 18, 2014

Things Forgotten (Things Remembered)

Here's an alarming thought:  There are HUGE, gigantic pockets of my life that I have completely forgotten.  Especially from my childhood.  You know how people ask, "what's your first memory?"  I have absolutely no idea.  I can tell you what my first favorite book was (Green Eggs and Ham) and about the charming old cottage in Michigan we visited in the summers, but I barely remember anything specific and concrete from before I was about 6 or 7.

That begs the question:  Will my two children, to whom I devote most all of my days now, remember anything from the past several years?  Will they remember that visit to the Children's Museum one hot summer morning, the spontaneous trek to a new park one afternoon, the exciting first trip to the local zoo...anything?

(Photo from our most recent trip to the beach, last spring; 
it was our first morning waking up there, and we were all so excited to go see the ocean!)

I heard somewhere that once kids turn 3 or 4, their memories improve.  That offers at least some comfort, except it still means their first three years-- the ones that fill a disproportionately large part of my own memory space-- will be a complete wash for them.

My husband and I take lots of photos, and this helps capture special moments and then relive them when we occasionally look through albums.  Still, something makes me quite sad that my son will probably not remember our family trip to the beach when he was 2, when he was our only child, and that my daughter won't have any recollection of visiting my sister's boys in North Carolina for the first time when she was just 11 months old.

(At the zoo, checking out the leopards.  
I have mixed feelings about zoos (the poor, trapped animals!) 
but it is amazing to let your kids see them up close.

On a bad day, when anxious, lonely, or frustrated, I could easily ask myself, Is it worth it?  The effort and exhaustion that creating extra special memories requires if my kids won't even remember them?

However, I am proud of myself when I do consciously up the ante and take my kids on an adventure.  Maybe those special trips-- when sprinkled into our regular, routine but still mostly happy days-- will give them an overall fond, albeit foggy, impression of their lives as little people in my care, and will give me a chance to remember this time fondly as well.

What efforts do you make to capture and remember special times with your families?  Can you recall your "first memory?"

~Julia @ Frantic Mama
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