Each of us is where we are today based on a combination of factors such as our education, experiences in our family, school, house of worship, and community, our friends, hobbies and activities, our personality, opportunities that have presented themselves to us and decisions that we've made along the way. Right now I'd like to challenge you to think of five or six cherished childhood memories that are still with you today and that you'd like to share with your children.
Think back to your care days. Did you sneak out early in the morning to go fishing with your buddies? Did you build fort or tree houses in the woods? Did your family stop for a picnic lunch at a special rest stop on your way to grandma's house? Did you have a very special birthday party? Did you and your mom bake chocolate chip cookies together after school? Did you and your family spread out on the floor and play board games on Friday nights? Did you play word games on long car rides? Did you make something with your dad in his workshop? As you may guess these were some of my family's favorite childhood memories.
Now what are your memories? Make a list of about five or six. Would not it be great to share some of these with your own family? It's one thing to tell your children stories about what it was like when you were a child, but even more impactful to relive them together. I understand the usual reaction as you describe how much fun you had playing board games and eating popcorn when kids today are used to fast-paced video games. What they are missing is being able to play together as a family.
When was the last time your family planned for and went on a picnic rather than stopping for a quick fast food meal? I'm sure the first time you have your family picnic someone will forget to pack the mustard or something else. Oh well, the fun will be in planning a healthy and fun outing. Maybe pick a location at a nearby state park where you can dangle your feet in the water or take a walk. Now you are helping to create cherished memories for your children.
Why not have a family board game night or movie night in which you try out different games. One night could be Monopoly, another could be Go, or Scrabble. Maybe you select a movie for the entire family to watch and then talk about everyone's favorite part after the movie when it's over. When I asked my 23-year-old son what his favorite childhood memory was, it was as simple as cuddling and having large picture books read to him.
When was the last time you created artwork? Did you have a favorite artwork activity as a child such as finger painting, drawing with colored pencils, painting with watercolors, or creating origami figures? Doing these as an adult with your kids could be a lot of fun. Have your kids actually sat down and created a card that could have sent in the mail to a relative rather than sending an e-card? They may really like doing this.
As we rush around in our normal frenetic pace it is worthwhile to keep in mind that in the future your children will be adults looking back on their life. What kind of childhood memories do you want to help create for them? I love this quote by Charles Swindoll "Every day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children." Let these memories be so special that your children will want to share them with their children.