DO YOU EVER wonder what your kids will remember? When my daughter Gabrielle was born, Emily was 26 months old.
I'm not actually one of those parents who counts their children's age in months until they graduate from college (at least not now that there are two of them, too much math). I mention this because a few weeks ago, Emily shared EXACT details from the day Gabrielle was born.
Seven months later, she remembers it clearly. The balloons she picked out with Auntie, the elevator ride in the hospital, and "checking Gabrielle up" with the thoughtful patient nurse.
This past weekend, the girls and I spent a fun morning with Auntie and Uncle at the Forestry Farm, our city's 'zoo', boasting ecological learning and free admission in the winter. Emily loved seeing the animals and Gabrielle and I loved walking around outside with grown ups and Starbucks drinks... until Emily asked about the porcupine.
There are grizzly bears, wolves, lynx, elk, and monkeys. So what's all this about the porcupine? Oh, you know... the porcupine that was rehabilitated and became a little too tame to live in the wild. The one she fed IN AUGUST, six months ago.
|Porky in August. Non porkies the end of February.|
Once again, I was struck by the details (important to her) that she is already remembering. We all have traumatic, wonderful or hilarious memories from our childhood. Or all three... like when Tim (featured above) strode confidently into a glass door. Sorry, Tim. It was so so so funny. In French, memories are 'souvenirs,' which I find so fitting. If you opened your little heart trunk, what tokens and trinkets remain there from your childhood? It was a good reminder to me that my girls are watching and absorbing everything around them. It made me stop and think, "What do I WANT my girls to remember?" Sometimes it's easier to make a list of what I don't want them to remember. 1. Mom engrossed on her phone, distracted. 2. Mom snappy or irritable after a night of no sleep. 3. You get the idea. So lately, on the days when I struggle with being patient, being present or just plain being a parent, I've been stopping and asking myself, "What do I want my girls to remember about today?" I know I can't control what my girls will and won't remember from their childhood, but I am in charge of what I bring to them and create today and when I look back on their childhood, I want to my satchel of souvenirs to be heavy and busting out the sides. I want to remember it all.