Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory.
During one of our trips to Kansas City last summer, Entrepreneur drove by one of my childhood homes. I was struck by how large the trees in the yard had grown. I remember helping plant those trees when I was in third grade.
It’s funny what we choose to remember about our past, isn’t it? I remember the exact floor plan of this house, and the arrangement of my room…down to the last 1960-70s beaded decor detail. I remember helping build a stone wall and fountain on the patio in the backyard that fed into a stone creek that trickled by my mom’s rose bushes to a little waterfall. I remember mowing the @#$% zoysia lawn. I remember running from ground wasps that lived around the backyard patio!
I remember endlessly exploring the neighborhood with friends until it was way past dark thirty. I remember climbing huge piles of dirt and having “dirt wars” whenever a basement was dug for a new house…an activity I think would never be frowned upon and never allowed in this this day and age of risk management.
I remember getting ready for school dances, daydreaming for hours while sitting on those courtyard walls, and listening to music (with headphones, of course) on the stereo console in the living room, which was decorated with Scandinavian-style furniture.
I remember bringing Entrepreneur home to meet my parents while we were in college, and bringing our first child to visit Grandma at this house.
And I remember when this house was sold. And all those memories took on an entirely new meaning. Why? Because the source of them was no longer mine. Never again would I be able to step foot inside and feel the good…and bad….times. The surroundings I thought would be there for years and years to come suddenly weren’t. And the memories attached to them became more valuable to me.
How many times do we take for granted the memories we’re making? We make memories all the time by the activities we do and choices we make. But how often do we consider what kind of impact those memories will have in the future? Sometimes The Investigator and The Golfer share snippets of things they remember while growing up. And while it warms my heart that some things imprinted positively on their hearts, there are a few things I wish they would forget!
And speaking of wanting to forget…I assure you I’m not selectively choosing only the good memories to remember. Like any family, we had our fair share of bad memories. It’s never good to pick and choose which memories we only want to remember. To remember only the good or the bad ones skews our perspective, and is not an accurate representation of how things actually were. Yes, we need to embrace the good memories and acknowledge the bad ones. The only decision is which ones we choose to take precedence.
Same for Peanut and Twix. For now, our precious grandbabykins live under our roof and memories are being made every day. I feel blessed to be a part of that process and acutely aware that every word I say and every action I take will imprint upon them one way or the other. What they see, hear and experience in these years, they will take with them forever.
But some day, this childhood home of theirs will be sold and they’ll be left with nothing but memories. And while I know there will be memories that aren’t all rainbows and butterflies, I hope the ones of the fun they had, love they felt and special moments they experienced rise to the top of the list.
What sort of memories are you making for your children? What will they remember about growing up and what will they value when they look back at the photos of their lives?