When you have kids, you gain a whole new set of responsibilities. Suddenly you have someone whose life depends on you. You need to keep them fed, clean, warm, and loved. As they grow you need to teach them about them world around them and how to navigate through it. Sooner than you think they will be in school, then there’s homework, tests, and grades. While all of this stuff is important, I think we often forget one of the most important jobs we have as a parent and that is to make memories. To be there, to live in the moment, to leave a lasting impression in the minds of our kids that will be there long after we are gone.
The other night my husband and I were talking about where we want to go for our next trip. Will it be the usual Disneyland trip like we’ve done so many times before or should we go somewhere else this time. While we were trying to decide he said something that really stands out to me, he said “as much as I love Disney it’s not about that, it’s about the memories.” Now admittedly, Disneyland will always be my top choice when it comes to vacations because it really is my favorite place but regardless of where we go, we’ll be making memories with our kids and that’s what’s important.
Twice this school year I have pulled my son out of school to take a trip. The school was not pleased and I’m sure I got the side eye from people we know but it was worth it. Twenty years from now when you ask him to tell you a memory back from when he was 12 it’s not going to be something that happened at school, it’s going to be about getting to go on the Incredicoaster two times in a row with his step dad because the park was closing or dabbing for the picture on Mission Breakout with his mom, or maybe he tell you about his first time seeing World of Color and how beautiful it was.
If you were to ask my middle son about his memories from when he was five, he would probably tell you all about escaping Harold on the Matterhorn or that if you let go at the right time on Guardians you will actually float for just a second. My daughter may be too young for the memories we’ve made so far but when she looks back on the pictures we took, she will feel the happiness radiating from them, I mean look at that face.
Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to fly all the way to Disneyland to make memories. Just doing things with your kids, whether it’s arts and crafts, story time, camping, or a trip to the beach, the point is to be present. Live in the moment with them. Life isn’t all about school or work, chores or grades. We aren’t born to just wake up everyday go to work come home and then start all over again and we don’t have children to just send them off to school do homework and then repeat. Take that trip, skip a day of work, show them world, whatever you do just make memories. When they are grown and when you are gone that is when those memories will mean the most.