“Do you remember when?”
These words make their way to our table at dinner time, in the car and into the covers during bedtime cuddles. Lately they have meant so much, mostly because they are strung to moments. They’ve been assigned to memories that have managed to etch their way into the hearts of my daughters. Little do they know, they’re etched in my heart, too.
So many times, especially around this time of year, our focus is on material things, on wish lists and presents that will soon make their way beneath the tree. But the greatest gift we can give our children isn’t something that can be wrapped and tied with bakers twine, garnering wonder and anticipation every day leading up to Christmas morning. And it most certainly doesn’t cost a thing.
Sometimes we parents put pressure on ourselves to find the perfect gift; one that they will squeal over as they tear open the wrapping paper. We want to get them the thing that they’ve always wanted (for like two months or two weeks). We peek at their Santa letters and create our shopping lists. We become superstar consumers in an effort to make our children happy. But I wholeheartedly believe that the thing they want most is our time. The thing they will treasure most is us.
The memories we make are priceless and yet they are the things that will be cherished the most. No need to make room in your budget, only your heart. As time goes by I find myself increasingly grateful for these “Do you remember when” questions. They’re always tied to a special memory; sometimes they elicit laughter, sometimes our eyes become glassy. And although, I admit, I enjoy seeing the looks on my children’s faces on Christmas morning when they finally discover what was in that box all along, I’ve found that the magic on their faces only lasts for those few glorious moments.
And then, just like that, it’s gone.
But when I give them my time, when I make memories with my girls, the magic isn’t contained to just a few moments. Instead, we get to experience it again and again each time “we remember when.”
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