Creating Memories

I have spent more hours than I care to admit focusing on my fears about what memories I have created for my children and how they will feel about me when they are grown. I know this sounds silly; after all, I spend most of my waking – and sometimes my sleeping – hours contemplating whether my parenting of the day was with love or with judgment and criticism. I pine it daily. My husband tells me that I’m too hard on myself, but I take this job very seriously. It is the most important job I’ve ever had – this I know without a doubt. I am raising tomorrow’s adults and this world needs really great ones. I’m doing whatever I can do make sure they have the tools they need to be great and love who they are. That’s no small task. And I’m not perfect. Far from it. One of the many, many challenges is teaching something as I am learning it and trying not to regurgitate that which I would have disappear from my subconscious indefinitely.

So, in an effort to redirect my thoughts from fear to intention, I’m celebrating my successes instead of focusing on my fears and perceived failures. At the end of the day, I have a habit of mentally flogging myself because I yelled when I should have just shook my head, because I chose frustration over humor, or because I chose to wash dishes instead of dance and spin. My new approach is to remember the successes first. How many times did I tickle when I could have barked? How many times did I choose to blow zerberts when I could have mindlessly changed the diaper? How many times did I listen attentively when I could have nodded absentmindedly?

Last night, my oldest daughter came up to me and gave me a big hug. I chose to melt into it and really savor it. She’s already 11 and quickly coming up on 12. I want to relish in those hugs while I still have the chance. As we were hugging, we started dancing. We slow danced to John Mayer for the rest of the song. It was dreamy. I thought, “Yes. These are the memories I want to create. More of these.”

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