Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I Want My Daughter to Remember

I've written about childhood memories before, about how I want to create long-lasting, positive moments that will stay with Samantha forever.  Sometimes it's the simple things I remember and want to pass along, the feel of the grass under bare feet, the smell of the sky after rain in the summer, the sound of children playing in the twilight outside my window as I struggled with the fact that it was my bedtime and I was too young to join them...  My memories live in an eternal summertime, a 5-year old's dreams.  But the reality is that memories are always being made, while learning new things, opening ones' eyes to new experiences, even, sometimes, doing very little at all. 

My memories are mostly happy ones, peppered with the occasional raised voice, a look of disappointment in the eyes of my parents, the anxiety of a teenager in "love."  I can't make Samantha's memories for her, I can't make them be perfect and happy, bathed in that endless summer sunset, but I can help facilitate the creation of some of those moments.

We thrive on routine, Samantha doubly so.  It's in her genetic make-up.  Change that routine, and you're either met with resistance, or sheer joy at the novelty of the bending-of-the-rules, just...this...once...  An unscheduled stop for ice cream.  A quick jump on the bed.  An extra episode of Curious George.  Those are some of the things I hope she'll store away in her memory banks, the things that make her smile. 

But more than anything, I want Samantha to remember just how much I love her, whether my voice is raised or not, whether I'm incessantly rushing her to get ready for school or cuddling her before bed, whether I'm away from her, at work, or by her side on a weekend adventure.  I want her to remember how much she is valued by so, so many people, how she has changed so many, made them better for having had the privilege of knowing her.  I see no reason why she wouldn't remember these things, as they are present each and every day.  They are the constant.  That a child should grow up with so much love and positive affirmation should always be the constant, no matter who the child is, where they live, who their parents are.

It's simple.

(this was inspired by Ellen Stumbo's writing prompt for this week, which for some reason I can no longer find the link to...)

9 comments:

Nan said...

So true, so true. Jessie actually has a brilliant long-term memory and is our memory keeper. But we also LOVE to tell stories and look at photo albums. I also remember one time when she was looking at old home movies from when she was very little (with grandparents, aunts & uncles and other people) she turned to me with very big and bright eyes and said "I am sooooo loved!" I thought ... wow, that is so true, but the proof was in the videos ... she could see just how much people loved her from when she was really little. Very good memories to have and hold when you get older and think your parents are out ruin your life!

CJ Field said...

This is one of the reasons I blog. It captures those moments, preserving them forever...proof of art projects, homemade cookies and family traditions.

Anonymous said...

So well said! I *know* Samantha will remember exactaly that. You're a great mom!

Christina Allred said...

Even though you know she will remember how much you love her, she can always look back at your words to remind herself of just how much!

Jenny said...

This was so beautiful...I especially loved that last paragraph, it spoke right to my heart.

Becky said...

Truly.. It is that simple when you break it down like you did. That is all I want too. :)

Leah said...

Such beautiful sentiments, expressed so well. I want to bottle this post!

Lisa said...

I try to hard as well - we talk about our days at the dinner table, I made photo books for each girl and include as many "everyday pictures" as I can. It is something I wish I could control but I know I can't so I'll continue to hope Cate & Lucy have great childhood memories. ps- I can't believe you still watch Curious George too!! My girls watch it every night before bed and if I let them watch an "extra" episode you'd think I'd given them a huge gift. Which I feel like I have because I can recite every episode by heart given we've watch 2 every night for 5 years and there are only about 75 total.

Heather said...

I am never, ever surprised by that girl.Never. A wonder she is and such a joy to watch her grow and blossom from afar.

This great big beautiful world awaits you Sammi. Continue to show it what you are made of: magic I think.