The events and actions of our pasts shape us in many ways to be the wonderful individuals we are in our adult lives. No matter the type of childhood we had, we strive to create memories and improve on the lives we had for our children. We want them to look back on their childhood years and have fond memories that overshadow any type of negativity that may creep in.
Overall, I had a great childhood. My parents did their best to protect me from the adult issues that children really shouldn’t have to face before their mature enough to process them. For that I’m eternally grateful to them and strive to do the same for my children.
When reflecting on the many memories I have the first that come to mind are:
~ the day we got the phone call from the adoption agency that they had not one – but two babies that needed a home. I remember getting all giddy and excited with my parents. For hours after that call, we’d look at one another and say “two babies” and just laugh and laugh.
~ the time spent in my 6th great talented and gift class. My teacher, Anne Raines, was a very special woman. I could not stand her when I first got into her class but over the course of a year she became a mentor and still holds a very special place in my heart years later. I still remember her weekly pep talks. It truly frustrated her to see young people not care and not try to be the best that they could be.
~ going to the beach with my grandmother. She was a nanny for years and every summer I would tag along to “help”. The family she sat for when I was in elementary school lived right on the beach. We’d collect shells and chase seagulls. She’d pack a lunch for us and we’d have picnics on the beach.
~ my dad’s pep talks. I’m sure raising 3 girls was no easy feat. We definitely gave him a run for his money. My father had (and still has) a way of talking to you that doesn’t belittle or make you feel like a complete idiot. He says what he has to say and at the end of it all you’ve learned something, laughed a little and know that you’re loved lots.
~ Girl’s time with my mom. My father’s job would send him overseas for months at a time. While we missed him tons during this time, my mom made the most of it and we’d do special things we didn’t always get to do when he was home. Our favorite was Saturday dinners at a local cafeteria (usually S&S or Piccadilly’s). My sister’s and I will still hunt out a local cafeteria for lunches or dinners together.
~Girl’s trips with my aunts. This is a tradition that we started almost 25 years ago. Every year the aunts and girl cousins go somewhere for a week. We spend the time bonding, shopping, relaxing, laughing and having tons of fun. I’m excited that it’s an experience that I’ll be able to pass on to my daughter as she gets older.
~ My first experience with racism in the 7th grade. It opened my eyes that sometimes people we spend time with on a daily basis can harbor feelings we could never imagine. Most prejudices are based on ignorance and, sadly, are passed on to children at a young age. The experience opened my eyes and, also, helped me to be more accepting of others so I would never pass on the feeling of hurt and despair I had to someone else.
~ my 5th grade year. I still remember us singing Whitney Houston’s “One Moment In Time” during our promotion ceremony. My 5th grade year was hands down my favorite year in elementary school. I had a great teacher and, of course, the extra perks of being the oldest class in the school. It was my younger sisters first year in school as kindergartners and it was fun to pick them up from their class each day and walk with them to the car rider pick-up area.
What key childhood memories of yours stick out? How have they shaped your adult life? If you have children, are you more conscious of “making memories” for them?