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