I have always been a memory guy, and moving back to my hometown has flooded my mind with memories. I can’t help but think and tell stories as we pass every house or field.
Getting together for the McClure’s always involves laughter and usually some old stories from growing up. As my children are now growing up at a rapid pace, I’ve been thinking more and more about memories.
My oldest daughter just turned fifteen! That, along with the realization that I’m turning forty this year, has my mind racing.
Each summer or school year that passes is one step closer to them moving out of the house.
When your children are born, you feel like you will have them forever, but it seems like you blink, and they are in college, and I hate to say it, but eventually, they will…well…get married. There I said it. 😪
Lately, I’ve been mulling over this thought.
As parents, we need to strive to make memories with our children. Those memories leave an impression on our children.
Memories may come in different forms. They could be funny events that have happened or vacations, but they might also be trials you have gone through and the lessons you all shared as God brought you through.
Here are some quick thoughts I’ve had about memories as I approach mid-life crisis (kidding…I think) and watch four kids grow up faster than I’m prepared for.
Creating memories forces us to be intentional in our parenting.
Our lives are too busy.
As a parent, there is always a temptation to set the children in front of a TV, IPad, or video game, so we can get more work done.
While there may be situations and times in which we have to do that, patterning our parenting after this will kill your relationship with your children.
A heart to create memories with our children that will be talked about for years causes us to schedule time with our children.
Creating memories is more than significant events.
Growing up, I didn’t stop throwing the baseball with my dad and say, “This is a memory I want to lock away for when I’m older.” I haven’t asked, but I’m sure my dad wasn’t thinking, If I go throw the baseball with him, he will remember me as a dad that spent time with his son.”
Instead, we were living life and having fun, and the memories stuck.
Yes, we had some significant events that I’ll never forget, like going to Yellowstone National Park or our trips to Florida, but healthy daily activities can become important memories.
I determined early on that I want my kids to remember me saying “I love you” to them all the time and hugging them. Even now, each night before bed, it’s hugs, and I love you. I don’t know if that will become a memory for them, but I certainly want them always to remember my love for them.
Dinner conversations, chores, family devotions are just examples of some opportunities to create memories.
Creating memories can prepare your children and help them grow, but it doesn’t always have to.
A few weeks ago, I took the kids to an Indians baseball game. When they got in the car, I said, “Guys, we are going to get a home run ball today!” They immediately got pumped up and started cheering as we headed off for the game.
Late in the game, two home runs had been hit, but nowhere near us. Our excitement was fading, but I still was hopeful.
It was the bottom of the seventh, and I was leaning up against a tree in the home run section, eating dipping dots, when suddenly, I heard the crack of the bat. The outfielders began running back towards the warning track, and I yelled to my son Elijah, “this is it!”
I took off running through the lawn and made a fantastic play right in front of my other son, who heard the same crack of the back and tried to make a diving play on the ball.
We were determined to get this ball!
The boys have been talking about this moment ever since (and so have I). Do you know where this obsession came from? When I was a kid, my parents took me to a Cubs vs. Cardinals game.
My dad caught a Willie McGee foul ball with his hat at that game, and the crowd erupted for him. But, you might say, is that really something life-changing? Maybe not, but I never forgot it, and I remember the day my parents spent with us at that game.
Maybe my kids will remember the day dad made a fantastic play on a home run ball as well! 😄
Creating memories goes beyond parenting.
Husbands create memories with your wife.
Wives create memories with your husband.
Christians create memories with other Christian friends.
Grandparents, create memories with your grandchildren. I love that my parents have taken each of their grandchildren on camping trips the last two summers. Those will be memories the kids cherish forever. Making memories forces us to focus on our relationships.
Our society is socially connected but lacking when it comes to genuine relationships.
I could go on for a while talking about memories and sharing with you stories, like how the boys and I tried RED HOT Chili peppers to show they were “tough guys.” Our mouths were on fire, but we high-fived and flexed our muscles and had a great memory.
How about you?
These are just a few thoughts that have been racing around in my head. What are your thoughts on memories?
Do you have any childhood memories that are special to you? Do you have any that have influenced you in adulthood?
Can I encourage you to go out and make memories with those you love no matter what stage of life you are in?
As Christians, when we weave those memories in with principles from God’s Word, they leave a foundation of memories that continue to influence those we love for years to come.