Two blog posts in 24 hours.
This morning, I was reading an article about a mom and her making memories with her kids. I often sit and think about what memories my kids will have...and what part I play in creating these memories. A blog that I read regularly is by a mom who often refers to herself as writing her kids stories...their story that they will pass on. It is both inspiring to me and at the same time, makes me question if I have done enough with my own kids.
When looking back at my own childhood, my most significant memories are of the house that I grew up in. When I was 5, we moved into the house that I would live in until I went to college. It was a pretty unique house on a cool piece of property. Our house had 5 bedrooms and 5 baths. Four of those bedrooms were on one side of the house and the other was off the kitchen and laundry area...it was "the maid's room." We had a live-in maid. She only did a small amount of cooking, but was mainly there to do the cleaning and laundry. It might sound like we were a bit spoiled, but really we were not, I can assure you. (So what if I never learned how to change the vacuum bag or knew that the bottom of a toaster opens up and that's how you clean it out...I learned that in college...!)
Anyway, growing up, I spent lots of time outside. I have to describe our property...our driveway completely encircled our house. We parked in the back. We didn't have a garage. In fact, the garage had been finished out and was our "playroom." In the front and to the side of our house, we had an official flagpole. There was a pomegranate tree/bush right beside it. We had a huge yard where I would often tumble. At the side of our house, we had a huge rose garden. One that I wished I had more appreciation for. My mom would cut roses from there and I can remember taking them to teachers at school sometimes. Before we put our pool in, we had a huge backyard with 3 big trees. One was a great big weeping willow. And we had red roses along the whole back wall that encircled our yard.
Next to where we parked our cars, there was a built-in basketball hoop. Behind our driveway, there was a staircase that led down to a play area. There was a slide and a swingset. To the side of this, was more area that extended the whole length behind our house. All of this was up atop a cliff and we overlooked houses and the street below. Our elementary school was down below us and we used to walk to school using the desert trail behind our house. I used to be so scared of the snakes we would see sometimes.
We lived in a cul-de-sac. In the center of the cul-de-sac was a desert landscaped circle that was filled with rocks, cactus and plants. It was bordered by large rocks...large enough to be able to walk along each one. I used to "play house" inside this circle.
Our neighbors who lived next door, across the street and down the street remained the same for as long as we lived there. Times were a bit different then, but people didn't just buy a new house every few years. Davy L, the boy across the street, used to hold the "Miss Twin Hills Beauty Pageant." We used to go to Mimi Ivey's house and jump on her built-in trampoline. I used to grab the umbrella and go walk in the rain. I made mud pies along the white block wall behind our rose bushes. My neighbor, Robert and his brother, made a high jump set and we used to practice in his back yard.
Our kids have never spent a whole lot of time outside. Sure, they've spent time swimming and jumping on the trampoline, but never really spent time exploring and playing in the neighborhood. Times have changed, I know...no one feels comfortable having your kids just disappear for a few hours outside to go play.
I have written before about wondering what my kids will remember about their childhood and what memories they will have to pass on. Have I spent enough time with them doing fun stuff? I can remember helping my mom in the kitchen. I can remember her teaching me to crotchet. She came to my gymnastics meets and to watch me cheer at football games. I can remember listening to Beatles music, going to the ballet, going to see musicals, eating nice dinners, going to the racetrack every weekend. Being with family.
I pray it's the more fun things we did that my girls remember (and not so much the times when I lost my patience or was too tired to do something). I hope they have a good story behind them.