This weekend we went to Disneyland! One of my dreams, was to take my kids to Disneyland, I love the magic of it all and the memories we can create their! Even though my daughter is only 2 and probably won’t remember a lot, seeing her twirl to the Cinderella music and get excited about meeting Mickey was a huge joy factor! It got me thinking about what memories we are making with our kids! It’s not just the big stuff that we remember, the everyday little stuff is important too!
One of my most treasured moments happens every day when I put my daughter to bed. We have only recently started this routine, since she has her own new bed. She is so proud of it!
After we put her brother to bed we go to her room, she chooses a book from her many books, climbs into her BIG girl bed. “Come on mummy” she says directing me to climb up with her. I arrange the pillows and tuck her in with Peppa pig (her stuffed toy) under one arm and George pig (the stuffed toys baby brother) under the other. “Ok George and Peppa, listen to the story” she says. And we read the story, and she listens like she has never heard such an amazing story. Because this is Mummy and Kara time. Our precious time, just us, so she will listen hard, and she will laugh and giggle uncontrollably when it’s not really that funny, because this is our time. Our precious time.
And then when the story is done, I ask her what she is thankful for today. “Mummy is thankful for being able to read books with Kara in the library. How about Kara?” “uhmmmm for the park” or “uhmmmm Ted, Mummy, Daddy, Kara, Bath”. She doesn’t need to be able to talk a lot to explain what she is thankful for. And then we pray. “Thank you Jesus for the park, and the bath and for Mummy and Daddy and Ted and Kara. Amen”
And then, I put her face close to mine, and I tell her what I loved about today, and I tell her how I was impressed when she helped her little brother, when she shared her toys, how she was so kind to help me clean, and how I loved playing with her in the park, and reading stories in the library with her. How I was proud of her for eating all her dinner and for waiting her turn. “And we will do it all again tomorrow” I say. “I love you, to the moon and back”
“I love you mummy” “moon and back”
And in that moment, the world stops, we hug and kiss and tickle. These are the moments I will cherish forever. These moments when I can share my heart with my daughter. Share our lives together, away from the rest of the world. These are the moments that make our children.
They are moments that will not last forever, one day she wont want me to tuck her in anymore or read a story with Peppa and George. There will be different memories to make. So for now I want to create many memories and family traditions, that are going to build our children’s lives, these individual moments are not just memories, but characteristics of who they will become.
Sometimes it is easy to be busy, look at the things we have to do as a priority and everything else gets in the way, including our kids. Their tantrums, their needs, their cry’s for attention can end up being a nuisance sometimes.
But I want to learn from Jesus, Jesus always had time for little children. He was busy, like us. People wanted his attention, just like the little people in our lives want our attention. But He always cared, they were always the most important in his eyes, that he could stop and share a moment, make a memory, help them discover who they are.
Our life is short! Our time with our kids is shorter! I remember when my kids were born, people kept telling me to enjoy it while they are small, because they grow up too quickly. How true it is. I think I spent most of the baby years thinking it would be easier when my daughter got to the next stage. The thing is it never was!! But it was all too quick!
I don’t want to miss the moments, I want to consciously create them.
Some of the memories I want to try to build into our family culture are these
- Saying I love you daily, hourly, consistently. Not just to my kids, but to my husband too. When we wake up, when we go to bed. When we go out, or say bye. Or just when we are playing, or eating dinner. We cannot say this word too much.
- Eating dinner together and talking about our favorite things of the day.
- Reading stories in the Teepee together.
- Telling each other “You are beautiful” “You are handsome” building confidence in each other.
- Going on family holidays and trips together.
- Carrying my children. We can only carry them for so long.
- Praying before eating and before bed together and lifting up our desires and needs to God.
- Worshiping, singing and dancing together.
- Taking time to just relax and let them eat ice cream, or jump in the muddy puddles.
- Buying a special treat together.
- Running and playing, climbing the slide together, swinging together, acting like a kid with them!
- Walking in the rain together.
- Stopping and enjoying God’s creation together, smelling the flowers, playing in the mud, climbing a tree.
- Putting my phone down and just being together, looking at the clouds, looking at the stars, looking at the rainbows all around us.
- Being thankful at the end of the day and sharing it together.
- Listening to their stories.
- Stop rushing around and being busy and just be there.
There are endless memories we can create. Sometimes we need to make a conscious effort to stop and create those memories, nurture them. Because they are not just for us, they are for our kids too. Children learn who they are from those who are around them, how we are creating their world, affects how they will become. We are made to be their parents, God created us especially for our son or daughter, and we are the ones who are meant to help them discover who they are. We are the ones who need to spend the time listening to them and getting to know their hearts.
I want to be able to show them by my actions, how to live a life for Jesus. I want my actions to teach them how to run hard after God. How to obey him, how to hear his voice, how to cherish the moments and live with purpose the life God called them to.
I can teach them this through the bible, through telling them but that can only teach so much, the rest comes through my actions, through the culture I am creating for them, through the examples I am setting.
Letting go of my everyday stress and taking moments to make memories, not just for myself but for them too, lets me know my children on a deeper soul level. I want my being there and the moments we create together to nourish a confidence in God’s plan for them.
I want them to know Jeremiah 29:11 and cherish it.
Educating them and teaching them the skills they need to know is important, just as is giving them lots of opportunities. But I think it is also important to be focused on their souls too and help them to build the character that will take them to the places where they can do amazing things!
What memories are you making? What will your kids remember? What family culture are you creating?