When I think about my childhood, there are certain memories that stand out. Trying to think back to the earliest brings a glimpse or two of nursery school, a quick memory of walking through a hospital corridor with my dad pushing my little brother in a stroller, but most of my solid memories probably start somewhere in elementary school. I know from talking to my brother and our mom that we remember different things – and we don’t remember the same activities in the same way. Which is why I love looking at old photos from when I was a kid, and talking to my family members too.
I’m not sure why it seems odd to me then that my kids, now that they’re getting older, don’t always remember places we visited or things we did when they were small. Those memories are so clear to me – as I’m sure memories of me as a baby and toddler were to my mom – so I have to keep reminding myself that the girls were so small back then that they don’t remember things the same way that I do, if they remember them at all.
I recently read an article on the P&Geveryday site that really resonated with me – the article is called How Will My Children Remember Me? The author talks about how she perceives herself as a fairly new mother and she wonders how her kids will remember her once they’re grown. Will they remember the ways in which she sometimes feels like a failure – the unkempt house, the stale breath? Or will they remember the days of dancing and pretending to be pirates? The mom who wrote the article ends by pointing out that even though her kids don’t have to like who she is – they have to love her because she’s their mom and the only one they will have. Her kids make her a better person and are the best thing about her. I think any parent can certainly relate to that – I know my kids motivate me to be a better person every single day.
I ask myself – what will my kids remember? They almost certainly don’t remember much about the days when I worked full-time and they were in daycare, even though those years were long and stressful to me – encompassing Abbi and Hannah’s entire pre-elementary school years. Will they remember me as being constantly on the computer as I am nowadays, working from home, trying to get everything done – especially during these summertime days when they’re home with me? Will they remember all the times I’ve fallen asleep on the couch, too exhausted from staying up late working? Or will they remember the trips to the park, the fact that I could be there for school activities and functions, shuttling them to day camps, VBS’s, and other daytime summer activities? Even now do they remember snuggles in the chair together, building endless block towers, Ron and I reading to them, singing lullabies to them? Or do we simply just build on those memories that lie buried too deep for them to consciously remember but which created the foundation on which our family was built?
It’s so hard to guess, so all we can do is to remember to build beautiful memories as often as we can, take photos to share during later years (not ever a problem for me, lol!) and trust that the foundation we built – and continue to build – will be there as our kids keep growing away from us and getting more independent. I still wonder – will my kids remember me as overweight and inactive? Or will the changes I’ve made this year to start running and get healthier be what will stick in their minds in years to come?
I can only hope that the positive changes I’ve made to my life will outweigh all those naps… 🙂
Check out P&Geveryday for helpful articles, resources and advice on topics ranging from food, technology, travel, parenting, crafts and more – as well as insightful posts by other parents and lots of information about P&G’s products that fill our lives and homes… Every day. You can also follow their Facebook page as well.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.