Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I think as parents, especially mothers, one of the things that we are most conscious of are the memories we are creating for our children.  To that end, we photograph and scrapbook and carefully choose what things our children will participate in.  Then we measure the "success" of the activity by the length of time for which it is remembered.

One thing that I think my boys and I will always remember is a specific night that we spent in a tent at Boy Scout camp.  Both were still in Cub Scouts, so my oldest was perhaps 10 or 11.  The younger, 8 or 9.  The day had probably been great, and we had finished it off with some wonderful food and great conversation around the campfire while the boys burned off energy throwing glow sticks into the air or chasing each other or whatever.  Before we turned in, we looked up at the sky and there were just zillions of stars.  My oldest still remembers that as the most stars he had ever seen.  Each family went to their respective tent, and all was well.  Until a few hours later.  The skies opened up.  Thunder.  Lightening.  Deafening rain on the tent.  Our tent held up pretty well, and most of our belongings stayed dry, but the water collected at the ends, and we had to keep "dumping" the collected rain off of it.  My oldest was so nervous...he paced like a cat.  Oh what a night that was!

We have been to Disney World and New York City and museums from Tampa to Philadelphia.  One has been to the National Championship game of a certain college football team that wears purple and gold.  But what is it that my children remember?

You see those pictures?  I think they were perhaps ages 3 and 4 when we had them taken.  They remember the picture taking.  But then you know what we did afterwards??  We went to....are you ready.....Burger King!!  I didn't remember that, but they did!  And you know what else?  They got Kids' Meal toys!  From the movie Road to ElDorado.  One got the guy with the red shirt and blonde hair, and the other got the buy with the blue shirt and dark hair.  And to this day - over 10 years later - they know who got which toy!  These weren't cherished or favorite toys by any means.  I was just floored to hear that this was something they both remembered with amazing clarity, when I had long since forgotten it.  Eating fast food was not out of the ordinary for us, and neither were cheap plastic action figures.  I have no idea why they remember *this* BK stop.  I surely didn't set out intending to "make a memory" that day.

Earlier this evening, my oldest came to me wanting to  know if I remembered the "commercial with the Indian crying over litter".  Being a child of the 70's, I knew exactly what he was talking about.  It was his turn to be amazed. 

I didn't remember the whole commercial, but I remember the tear. 

What about you?  Any every day, ordinary childhood memories?

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