With fall upon us I thought it would be good to welcome the season by cranking the AC, so I could cuddle in a blanket, and have hot chocolate and popcorn. Growing up, mostly on rainy days, my mom would declare a few select chilly, drizzly days as “hot chocolate and popcorn days”, happily sister and I would get our comfies on and snuggle on the couch and watch either the OLD Mickey Mouse Club, Lassie, or a Shirley Temple movie. To this day, when I think of yuck days I just think that I will proclaim it to be a HC&P Day.
Today as I was prepping for the HC&P celebration I thought briefly, “maybe Madeline wants some!” and then quickly decided she was far too young to engage in such an activity. But as I was doing this I was struck that Madeline has so much to learn about the world and life and many of those memories will come from Gavin and I, the good ones and the bad ones. What a thrill it will be to watch her see popcorn pop for the first time, see milk heating on the stove for hot chocolate, watching the marshmallow float in her mug and cuddle on the couch for what mommy has declared a special day.
As I get older I am realizing that somewhere in the shuffle life transitioned from having memories made for me to the responsibility of making my own memories. The good ones and the bad ones. Like it or not, we are making memories every single day. Every moment is an opportunity to make a moment count as a memory and file it away as a fond time. When we become unaware of this, sometimes we find ourselves with a void of memories from a season, bad memories, or memories different than we want or thought we would ever make. Take the opportunity to make a memory even in the mundane. It’s a chilly day, we can either complain or have a HC&P celebration! The leaves are turning, we can either grumble that summer is over pull the car over and make a pile and rejoice in the free fun.
Be intentional with the moments. You might be single, married, kids, no kids, great job, bummer job, old car, whatever. Make memories now, not when… NOW. Make memories that are important to you, if you live by yourself and want a Christmas Tree, go get one! If you don’t have kids and want to go to the pumpkin patch, please go! Your life won’t wait for you to be ready. Today is the day at hand, you can make it or break it. I am reminded of the line from the Switchfoot song, “this is your life, are you who you want to be? This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be when the world was younger and you had everything to lose?”
As a mom, I want our kids to have fond memories of the mundane and the celebrations. Whether it’s something special that they do just with mom or dad once a year, something they think of on a certain day, the consistency of dinner every night together as a family, mom being goofy, dad singing at church, or realizing that her cousin Ella just happens to be every single place she ever goes. It’s time to start building memories in the life of our kids,and in the life of ourselves.
We might not be able to control our future, but we can control our past through the memories and the relationships built. Remember that memories are pricked through all of our senses, What we see, the way things feel (like scratchy shirts or soft blankets), the way things smell (fireplaces, perfume, food, holidays, nature and seasons), what we hear (vocal tones, music, singing, even tv), how things taste (yucky dinners,great meals, certain candy or gum) and our relationships who we were and were not with, Everything we do can spark a memory at the most surprising times. Our brain stores the timeline of information as memories that help trigger and inform our lives.
In the technology age, I am concerned that few memories are made, even though many things are experienced. Texting, facebooking, snapchat, instagram, all these things DOCUMENT our memories, but they are not our memories. Yes Pinterest provides great ideas, turn them into memories, don’t just dream them up and pass them by, do something with them. Don’t let being on pinterest be your memory, Let all of the things you did and created on pinterest be the memory.. Be intentional about LIVING with your WHOLE BODY and all of your senses and then documenting it if desired. But one reason we don’t remember life is because sometimes we don’t do anything worth remembering. What a shame. Be better than that and make a memory.