I wonder all the time what things I am doing that will someday have left an impression on my children. Not every moment can be perfect and there will always be small sadnesses, which breaks my heart… but there will be lots of good moments too, hopefully so many that it’s hard to remember the sad ones. Which things will make up their happiest memories? Which things will trigger their memory senses and make them pick up the phone to call me, or stop by unannounced for a hug?
Any time I see squared block letters, I think of the letter my mom wrote to me from the tooth fairy.
The book Little Women always makes me think of time spent curled up to my mom, reading the classic. We read it, we watched the movie, we read it again, and then we gifted it to my teacher. I was so happy to give her that piece of us, and a little sad to see it go.
Tea parties, in the truest sense of the word, make me think of a fancy mother-daughter date at a tea house in town. I discovered that I loved petit fours and hated iced tea.
Sometimes I’ll feel great about an accomplishment and remember that Mom always celebrated those by taking us to Walden Books, inside the mall, where we were rewarded with a Lindt chocolate and a $5 book.
I remember treating minor heartaches with a mud romp through the woods, then curling up on the couch together for face masks and Steel Magnolias
Mom and I attended The Nutcracker every December that I wasn’t dancing in it. It’s often hard to make a Nutcracker performance work out with little ones depending on me for milk so I usually just don’t go. I always miss it and I always feel excited about Nutcracker dates in my future.
I have still never had meatballs or pasta sauce as good as the ones my mom used to simmer in a crockpot all day. I remember coming home from school and losing my mind over how good that smelled. I have also yet to find a tuna salad that tastes as good as Mom’s.
Mom slowly fostered a spiritual background for me with Vacation Bible School, LTC, Awana, Guideposts for Kids magazines, Gerber, Veggietales, Left Behind for Kids in my Christmas stocking…
I’ve always been sensitive and easily overwhelmed so the “ditch days” she gave us, those once-a-semester reprieves from school, were more meaningful to me than anything I might have missed in school that day.
What things are we doing that leave a deep, lasting impression on the souls of our babies? Is it our morning devotionals or our afternoon stroller walks? Is it the games of Candyland and Chutes & Ladders, or the visions of their parents running around the living room in blanket capes with them? Will the smell of chili take them back to their childhood Christmas Eve dinners? Will they someday say that my smoothies are better than the ones they make themselves, or that hiking always makes them miss their Daddy’s voice?
What are we doing that’s leaving an impression?