One of My Parenting Goals: Making Memories

This morning as I let the dog outside I noticed the dark blue sky.  I heard the sound of chirping birds.  I saw a thin layer of wetness covering the grass after a brief morning rain.

It made me think of the many mornings I woke up and stepped out of a tent somewhere on a family camping trip.  Even now as I write I'm transported in my mind back to many mornings of unzipping the tent as quietly as possible, slipping on my shoes so I wouldn't have to walk in wet itchy grass and making my way over to the fire pit, hoping there would still be some warm embers I could use to get a fire started.

I'm so grateful that I had parents who invested in creating memories for my siblings and I.  Planning those camping trips, and hauling around 4 kids plus their gear, couldn't have been easy (nor cheap!).  My parents worked hard to give us those experiences,  experiences that we didn't even realize would impact and stick with us forever.

Now that I'm a parent I'm trying to do the same thing.  My wife Stephanie and I have a little saying that we use to motivate and remind ourselves that everything we do is impacting our kids.  We say, "making memories."  That idea keeps us laughing and moving forward in times of spontaneity, changes of plans, and frustrations with kid behavior.

We try to do things intentionally that will create memory making experiences.  We visit the zoo, the museum and new parks to play at.  We go on nature walks and swim at the pool or water park.  Last summer we took the kids on a "mystery trip" that included two nights at a hotel, the movie theater, and going out for ice cream.  About once a month we put the kids to bed, wait 15 minutes, and then get the kids up for a "pajama party."

My hope as a father is that my children's memories would be filled with a full measure of the love and joy I share with them, and that those memories would outweigh those that come from my mishaps and short-comings.

What about you?  I'd love to hear your best childhood memories.

I'm also always on the look-out for new memory makers for my kids.  Share some of fun things you've done to "make memories."