Thursday, May 29, 2014

Childhood Memories

Georgica Beach, East Hampton
Like many parents we know, my husband and I spend a lot of time and effort into planning special events and family outings with the kids. We love watching them having a great time, exploring new things together or seeing their eyes light up with possibility. But also, these family outings are helping us relive our own childhoods. We remember taking family trips, going on long drives, fighting with our siblings....

Recently, we started thinking about the whole idea of memories, and how far back can we really remember in our own childhoods?

We both were lucky to have fun childhoods, filled with sibling rivalry, family picnics, lots of laughter with our cousins, and great travel experiences. There are some very vivid scenes from my childhood that are etched in my memories -- a tree that was perfect for climbing right in our front yard, a pink stuffed bear that was my lovey, my brother's colorful cotton blankie. I distinctly remember playing with my brother on a table with benches that we had right outside the kitchen. I can picture myself coloring there, building legos, and even eating cereal. 

My husband seems to remember many details from his childhood, but I wonder how much of our memories are via photos and stories versus actually remembering events and places. If photos and videos help construct our memories... then our children will undoubtedly have tons of material, thanks to the digital age. 

Central Park, NYC

That got us thinking about whether Jiya & Leela will remember all of these great childhood moments -- being pushed endlessly on the swings, splashing together in the kiddie pool, playing frisbee in central park, or snuggling up to watch Frozen for the billionth time.

Will they remember building castles with blocks?

Will they remember reading {so many} books before bed time?

Will they remember making ice-cream out of play-doh?

Does it matter?

We decided that all these fun events and time together will likely blur into one big happy memory... that while they may not remember each time we went to the swing park, they will remember the joy of swinging as a child. That while they may not remember the details of their local zoo, they will remember that they love to watch and feed animals. And while they may not remember how much and how often, they will remember our many hugs & kisses. 

How much detail do you remember from your childhoods... and what makes any childhood a happy one? Great memories? Building strong family bonds? Growing up with siblings and cousins? I wonder, do we need to remember specifics, or are feelings of being loved and valued, enough to take away? It is such a privilege, as parents, to raise these little ones... and there's so much to think about. How the little things we do can leave a lasting impact.  

What do you remember from your childhood? 

No comments:

Post a Comment