I wish I knew who to give credit to the term ” Memory Architect” I heard it a few months ago and it really resonated with me. I started looking at the money and time I spend with my kids a bit differently.
Was I spending time with them or trying to create a lasting memory?
I am not sure when it happened but parents have now have taken on themselves to “Make Memories” or “create memories” by constantly planning perfect moments, birthday parties, intense experiences and once-in-a life time experiences and vacations because it will be a “wonderful memory”.
Weekends are now filled with memory making adventures. Parents hawk their financial future and rack up credit cards to give their kids the experience of seeing Hannah Montana LIVE on stage for a the same price as my first car.
My girlfriend took a second job bartending so she could pay for her daughter’s birthday party. Her rationale was that its only money and think of the “memories” she’ll have.
So not only are parents responsible for food, clothing and shelter plus emotional well being and instilling sense of self and self esteem we now are our children’s Memory Architect and we must give out children the BEST possible memories we can afford.
When I was growing up we went on a trip of a lifetime- to Disney World. We were an upper middle class family and this was a BIG deal. Today I know of several families that go to Florida and Disney World very year. It is an annual event. A friend of mine is still paying for a trip to Disney and then 3 more since on her credit cards. Why? If you ask her on the top of her list will be because of the great memories.
The trip I mentioned to Florida? I was 11 years old. What do I remember most about that trip? Was it the way my sister and I bonded? Was it the magical site of the Disney Castle? The endless rides? Cypress gardens> Sea World?
My most vivid memory of the trip is the cool way my skin bubbled when I got a 3rd degree sunburn on my arm because we didn’t believe in sunscreen.
Second to that might be the broken gumball machine that spit out free gum at a Cheap Miami motel.
I confess I remember very little else of the 2 weeks trip.
My most memorable birthday party I ever had was when I was about 9 years old and my dad was traveling a lot and not around much. My dad came home early to surprise me and was there to cut the cake. I don’t remember what kind of cake it was or what kind of gifts I got I just remember how happy I was that he came home and was there.
Probably the strongest childhood memory I have is the smell of my grandmother’s sheets.
Most weekend in the summer were spent at my grandparents house. After a long day of swimming I would sneak away from the business and I would lay on her king size bed . I loved the feel of her sheets. She had an inground pool which was a rare thing. Her bedroom window was always open and open I would here the occasional car rumble by ion the dirt road; gauzy curtains dance in with breeze.
In the backyard I would hear my brother and sister and cousins shrieking and splashing and giggling. I would hear the roar of laughter of the adults who who busy mixing martinis and setting up the multiple BBQ’s to grill the impromptu barbecue.
My arms stung slightly the beginning of the sunburn and I would be sleepy from swimming all day . The cool crisp sheets that were lined-dried smelled like my grandmother, and safety, and love.
To this day the smell of fresh laundered sheets can bring a tear to me eye- so intense was the feeling I had as as a kid of being so perfectly happy.
No one was thinking about having a good time- my parents weren’t orchestrating they day.
Other memorable moments would be sitting on the porch with my grandmother just talking about nothing and the sound of her heel and she brushed it along the cement. Doing daises with my brother and sister and snapping each other with the dish towel. My mom an dad coming in an instead of yelling at us – joining in.
My pi9nt is that memories HAPPEN. There are not manufactured. being over backwards and spending a fortune on expensive trips or outings don’t create better memories for our kids. we are not responsible for creating a series of perfect moments for our children. Spend time with your kids, enjoy them laugh and have fun and the memories will follow.
What is your favourite childhood memory? Was it manufactured or did it just happen?