Make memories that can last a lifetime
As a mom of two teens, I know that my time with them is short. In fact, they are on the runway of life about to take off.
Memories warm you up on the inside. They make our lives so much more vibrant. These memories are made up of unpredictable, planned, and sometimes surprising moments The true art of making a memory is the art of paying attention.
How can you create more moments that become memories with your children?
Firstly, be intentional about making memories.
This can be something simple such as a weekly dinner ritual. One mom told me that when her children were young, they would sit outside every Friday evening on a picnic blanket and eat hotdogs. She said that it wasn’t fancy, but now more than ten years later, her daughters still talk about the fun they all had on those Friday nights.
Secondly, say ‘yes’ to as much as you can.
It’s much easier to say ‘no’ when our children ask things of us that put us out. For example, it’s raining outside, and your children want to walk and splash in the puddles. Before you say ‘no,’ think again. Why do you want to say ‘no’? Is it valid, or does it roll off your tongue before you blink?
Thirdly, look at your children and take notice of what makes their eyes sparkle.
Then, take time to create a moment. It could be something such as watching their sporting matches, taking your child to attend a ballet, baking biscuits together, or merely snuggling while watching a movie. When you reach out and love your children this way, they will remember it for a long time.
One of the memories that I treasure is our last lunch with my Dad before he passed away. He came to visit us about six months before he died. I cooked up a feast in preparation for our lunch. He had cancer I knew this would be the final time, he would see his grandkids. It was a bittersweet moment, but a memory that I carry with me.
“There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have the feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well.” ― Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember
Another memory that is built on repetition is our daily swims in the Indian Ocean during our December family holidays at a remote spot called Haga Haga. We’ve been going there for over 20 years, and my children associate Haga Haga with family holidays, quiet and distinctive moments. It’s so special that these swims have become a Hart family tradition.
So what are the components of memory?
I created formula recently to help you remember what you need to have in place when making a memory.
(people + place + a shared experience) emotion = memory
Let’s dissect it.
You need more than one person around you.
Then be in a common place together.
Combine that with a shared experience – engage your senses as well.
Multiply those three with an emotion (joy, sadness, excitement, hope, tenderness, freedom, love, and the list goes on).
Then, let it all mix together and form something we call a memory.
Memories to last a lifetime
Think about it. These shared experiences (good or bad) can last a lifetime in our hearts, and they become treasures we release our children into the world.
Our memories take us back to those moments. They are the gems in our treasure box and even Taylor Swift reminisces about memories too.
“I’ve apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It’s been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I’ve found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn’t mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I’ve just added more things to my list. Like for example, I’m still beyond obsessed with the winter season and I still start putting up strings of lights in September… I love the freedom of living alone, but I also love things that make me feel seven again. Back then naivety was the norm and skepticism was a foreign language, and I just think every once in a while you need fries and a chocolate milkshake and your mom. I love picking up a cookbook and closing my eyes and opening it to a random page, then attempting to make that recipe. … I’ll never go a day without thinking about our memories together.” ― Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift