This post is dedicated to my favorite kids, one of whom resides in the wormhole that is being an old and seasoned toddler, yet not quite a kid. The other whom I have recently started admitting to actually being a kid, toddler no more.
The two of you are my favorite humans of the toddler and kid variety. I wish and hope for you many things, many of which have nothing to do with academic or financial success and all to do with the quality of life you have, emotionally. All of this stuff we’re doing — this magic we curate in between the fire-breathing and snot-slinging — is all in the hope that you remember your childhood as a happy one and, well because we’re rather fond of being happy day to day too.
As you age and develop and tell me about your memories, I realize we’re there. We’re in the definitive tangle of minutes that flow into days that flow into years of the irrevocable influence of memory -making. And, just like most other parents, your dad and I want those memories to shine. To be the positive, strengthening beacon that reminds you of where you come from, who you are, and what you are worth. I truly believe that if you have that going on — a rather grand childhood to boast about — well, the rest in life can come rather naturally, or in the very least make the dodging and the healing through the blasts and curves that life throws at you more manageable.
This morning when you both woke up, everyone was a little grumpy and the rain outside seemed to mirror our Monday blues. So we started to look through our Instagram — as you two love-bugs call it — and pretty soon smiles peeled back the fog of morning grumps. You kids love looking at family pictures and reminiscing over each one. Your eyes shine bright as each photo sends a glimmer to your eye as your mind locks into each image and your eyes tell me another story: that we’re doing alright by the both of you two so far; that you’re starting to remember this life we live, love, and crash through.
There are things I want to teach you and things I want you to know — but today I’m thinking about what I want to remember about your childhood. In no particular order …
My smile, emoting my happiness — and your dad’s too.
I try to keep my mom-face to a minimum and my inner rage under wraps. (For the most part.) I do what I need to do to stay sane, stay happy. This includes taking my own time-outs, treating myself to kid-free activities and indulgences. I think above all else, I want you kids to remember me as the happy mom I strive to be, the one that I feel that I am — even on the bad days.
The small things I do with you.
The bedtime songs and stories, how we simply played together, the love notes I tossed into your lunch box and under your pillow. I have no doubt you will remember all of the kiss attacks, cuddles and fort building, all that I ask is that you remember my penchant for smothering you in love, fondly.
Yet even more simple things …
… catching bugs and fireflies, bonfires, snowball fights, and sledding. The shoulder rides and general time spent with us — the people who have the most power to make you feel special. (Until you’re a teenager and want nothing to do with us.)
Germinating seeds in the spring and digging in the garden with me in the summer.
Life skill #1! Valuing our resources, the earth, farming and how to nourish our bodies for optimal physical and mental health.
Helping me in the kitchen.
From baking cookies to helping with dinner … helping me cook is another invaluable life skill that I’m starting in on the teaching of early.
The adventuring, risk taking and open discovery.
May you remember how I guided and gently pushed you in the direction of adventure, challenge, and risk. May your remember most all of the times I organized an adventure — and was right there next to you, every step of the way.
How art and music was everywhere, always accessible …
And allowed you to be young voyeurs and creators with it.
Summers spent camping at folk festivals on the pow wow trail.
The friendships we made and nurtured for you — young and old.
All of the traveling we did.
The winter stints we spent on intentional communities in Southern and South-Western Hemispheres. (This is a biggie! We are researching and planning to do our first one from Feb. — April 2015 … so let’s hope it’s memorable!)
Perhaps my hopes are high, but I have to believe that this will all come naturally and I’m just putting this out into the universe … my magical memory making manifesto. The magic I speak of and so desperately want my children to taste has nothing to do with creating perfection and all to do with creating mayhem; doing things with our kids.
More Babbles From Selena…
- How To: Toddler Body Tracing Art
- 26 Common Lies all Moms Tell Their Kids
- Motherhood Didn’t Measure Up To My Fantasies and That’s OK
- New Survey Shows That 40percent of Mothers Claim Alcohol Helps Them Parent
- 5 Ways My Parenting Has Changed Over The Years