Wow – 9 months of 2008 are history. I remember when I was a kid, not being able to wait for my birthday and Easter and then summer vacation and then Halloween and Christmas. It seemed like time went by s-l-o–w–e—r than molasses. And now, it won’t slow down. I recently asked my mother was it like that for her when my sisters and I were kids. She said, yes, time did seem to go faster at that same point in her life. It seems like after the kids were born, our lives have been on fast-forward. I look forward to birthdays and holidays and other special events, but they come and go so quickly. I busily prepare for them, and then they just shoot by, and I don’t feel like I’ve had enough time to enjoy them. Sometimes I try to sit back more and drink it all in, try not to do all the cleaning and preparing that I normally do, just so I can enjoy some of the time. But now it’s still just a memory. I guess that’s what life’s all about though. And I hope that we are doing a good job of leaving our kids with some good memories to take with them into their adult lives.
I was out with a girlfriend recently who just had a baby boy 5 months ago and whose (military) husband recently deployed overseas. They also have a 3- (almost 4) year-old daughter as well. She had dropped her daughter off for a parents’ night out at her preschool, and we were catching up over dinner at a restaurant in the mall (Cheesecake Factory…yum yum). I had taken my youngest two as well, as they had some gift cards they had been wanting to spend. My friend asked my children what their first memories were, to which they responded with places they remembered living at the time, Florida, Japan, Guam… My friend said she was afraid her daughter’s first memories were going to be of her yelling at her. And then my daughter said, Oh yeah, one of my first memories was when I stole some of my mom’s M&Ms from her purse when she told me not to, and she was so mad at me! I didn’t know whether to try and save my friend from more feelings of guilt or feel guilty myself. I did a little of both.
Sitting here thinking about it now, I don’t wish that one of my daughter’s first memories is of me getting mad at her about disobeying me, but then I know that that moment must have had an impact on her because of the relationship I have with her today. My daughter and I are very close, very good friends. I am still The Mom, but she knows she can come to me at anytime and talk to me about anything. I’ve told my boys the same thing. I’m sure they don’t tell us their every thought, but we talk – a lot. And I love it. When I’m out and see other moms or dads with their children, I feel blessed when I see how some kids speak to (ignore) or treat their own parents (often not very well). We aren’t the perfect family, and I know I don’t always use my best words or tone with them, but I try, just like most parents. And we try to emphasize that how we speak and what we say to one another is important. Why is it that we act differently with strangers (sometimes it seems better) than with our own family? Because there is a lot more interaction going on; that’s where the memories are being made.