Who doesn’t want to create wonderful memories for their children?
We all do, so we save and prepare for trips to Disneyland, camping trips to national parks, and excursions to museums in the city. That’s all good.
We’ve done our best to provide as much as we could of those things for our kids as well. It’s only natural to give our children the best we have to offer. However, while we strive to reach beyond our means, it’s too easy to overlook some of the most memorable gifts they will treasure for a lifetime.
I didn’t see it until my oldest daughter recalled fondly one of her favorite childhood memories.
One morning I woke up early and had this idea. Before anyone else was awake, I snuck into my oldest daughter’s bedroom. She was maybe seven years old at the time and I gently woke her up. With one finger to my lips and the other silently bidding her to follow, she slipped out of her bed and tiptoed out of her room behind me.
Not quite awake, she trailed me into the kitchen.
I poured her a cup of coffee and tied my apron around her waist a couple of times. (Yes. Coffee. Don’t judge me. My kids started early.)
Then I pulled a step-stool up to the counter. All the ingredients to make brownies were laid out before her. Her eyes lit up brighter than the sunrise streaming through the kitchen window. She made brownies for the first time and I was her helper.
When her siblings begin to wake, they followed the sweetness that made a trail from the kitchen to their bedrooms.
You might be one of those awesome moms I always admired who has her daughter in the kitchen with her all the time. I’m not. I’ve always been more of the too-many-things-on-my-plate kinda mom. Here’s the great news. You don’t have to be a supermom, or even be consistent to create precious memories for your kids.
Spontaneity is the big bow you wrap around a very simple act.
My daughter loved that morning so much that I secretly vowed to make it a habit. But it never happened. We might have done it again once, but I honestly don’t remember.
Nonetheless, to this day, as an adult my daughter refers to “our brownie mornings” fondly. It became a treasured childhood memory.
Over the years we have managed to come up with a few things that, without realizing it at the time, became special to our children.
Here’s just a few ideas.
- Wake someone up first, sneak them out of the house for a “doughnut run.”
- Smuggle everyone out of the house before daylight and put them into the car still asleep. Drive to the nearest city zoo and wake them up just as you roll up to the sign that says where you are. This also works for amusement parks and visits to far away friends and family.
- Pull down a back road or parking lot and let one of the kids drive. (I was always way too chicken for this one, but my husband created very memorable moments with each of our children doing this.)
Have you stumbled onto something that was so simple it surprised you how much your children enjoyed it?