Monday, September 23, 2019

They May Not Remember But You, Mama, Will

My seven year old talks a lot about the mountains in Miami. If you've ever been to Miami, or looked at a map, you know there are no mountains in or around Miami. A whole lotta ocean, but no mountains. I correct her every time with a smile across my face because I know she's confusing two different times, places, and vacations.

The mountains from our trip to Yellowstone stick out to her, but she doesn't remember details of the trip. Our next big vacation after Yellowstone was Miami. I'm guessing she confuses the two vacations because though they were months apart, in her eyes they were back to back. There's many times, many things like that. My oldest doesn't remember countless hours spent at the wading pool during his toddler years. He doesn't remember a very pregnant momma lugging him a few blocks in the stroller to play at his favorite park. Just as my middle child remembers nothing about life without his younger sister in it. They don't remember these things, but I DO.

These moments so small, yet so big. I made a comment to a friend recently about how we do things for ourselves that make them (our children) better. My children vaguely remember their first horse ride (to see Santa), but I remember the whole thing. I remember my oldest tensing up and telling me he didn't want to go on the horse. I remember encouraging him until he went. I remember how excited my middle child was and how he wanted to be a horse trainer afterwards. I remember my youngest running towards her horse so she could do what her big brother's were doing. They may not remember, but I remember all the details.

There's so many of these memories we have with our children. Hiking, random pukes in public that made us want to die, happy squeals when we did something fun with them, lugging strollers with us to events, etc. Sometimes, especially when they were younger, it seemed like more work getting everyone ready and going some place than what we got out of it. However, now that my children are older, I know that's not entirely true. 

My kids grew up going to pools and swimming so they were comfortable with water. We took them hiking at a young age and taught them proper trail etiquette and safety. As a result they knew exactly what to do when we encountered a bear hiking this past summer. We've taken them to restaurants, nice and casual, since they were babies. They can order for themselves, confident in their behavior when we go out to eat. We took them grocery shopping with us. For every disastrous grocery trip was a successful experience that resulted in the minis helping get food from the shelves, how to pick a good piece of produce, knowing how to make a grocery list and crossing each item off as they're put into the cart. We take them on vacations that they may not remember, but I forever will. I will forever remember the minis hugging me and kissing my cheeks as they thanked me for their day at Disney World while we watched the night show. All of these things we have done for them, with them, haven't been for nothing.

Just because they don't remember their first vacations, pool days, walks, hikes, road trips, snuggling with books during snow storms, etc. doesn't mean they have been for nothing. I remember them and I can see how these experiences have shaped them into the kids they are. I strongly feel certain aspects of their personalities and how they handle life has come from our constant doing from the time they were babies.

As you leave the house with your young child(ren) or babies and head to whatever storytime, errand, play group, or grand adventure you have scheduled, just remember they won't remember those times, but you, mama will. And it will help shape the very person you want them to become.