For someone who is single or married with no children, these memories are those that are created through interacting with extended family, neighbors, parish communities, work colleagues, etc…
For those of us who do have children, our day-to-day interaction with them is creating the images they will one day look back on in their minds…the stories they will tell…the discussion they will have with other grown siblings or perhaps even a spouse of their own.
It is good for parents to pause and consider these questions from time to time:
What memories are we making for our children?
When they are grown and on their own, and take a look into the archives of their minds, what will they see there? What sounds will they hear? What will they remember?
Will they hear bickering, complaining, and arguing? Or will they hear laughter, prayer, singing, and joyful noises?
Will they see gardens and candle light and images of family gathered ’round a table, children frolicking with family pets, kids on bikes and climbing trees, parents hugging and smiling? Or…will they see crowds and an empty house, clutter, traffic, parents with their heads in their hands in frustration, and groups of people with no real faces or voices?
Will they remember books and authors, songs and poems, games, jokes, and long discussions late at night? Or will their memories revolve more around rushing and trying to meet expectations; searching for something they just can’t seem to find? It is helpful to consider the ways in which we live-out our family life each day. Let’s be mindful of our children…who will one day look back upon all we do and remember.
Let’s give them good memories…memories of togetherness…memories of a strong family who helped each other through the rough times of life…memories of a mother and father who were joyful and content and who shared the love of Christ and His Church with them each day.
Sit down to eat your meals together.
Pray the family rosary. (One decade per evening, if that’s all you can handle with small ones)
Play a game of cards.
Take a walk.
Sit on your porch.
Drink freshly-squeezed lemonade that you’ve allowed the kids to help you make.
Listen to books on audio.
Have the courage to say “no” when it’s for their good.
Have the patience to say “yes” when it will bring them joy.
Go to Mass.
Go to Confession.
Put on plays together.
Whatever you do, just make time to be together…we can’t be perfect, so we shouldn’t even try.
But we can make the changes necessary in our lives to be there for our kids so that they will grow to know and love the Lord … and have memories to cherish that they will one day want to recall.
Copyright 2010 Judy Dudich