Tag Archives: life experiences

Make memories

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.

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School vs life experiences

Mark Twain once said “Don’t let schooling get in the way of your education.” I think he might have been on to something here. Now I’m not saying that school isn’t important because it is. Reading, writing, math, and history are all important. To a degree we need them all to live an independent successful adult life. School is typically the first place we learn to socialize and make friends which is another pretty important life skill but school isn’t everything, it doesn’t give you real world life experiences like traveling does.

So far this school year we have taken one vacation however, there will be at least one more before it’s over. Our oldest is the only one currently in school and for him I think these experiences are extra important. If you’ve read previous post then you may already know he is on the spectrum. School is a huge stressor for him. It radiates from him, we all feel it and it’s hard. He tries his hardest but there are still struggles. Five days a week of attending 7 different classes, listening to 7 different teachers talk while trying to understand the work he is given on top of all of the noise and kids, it’s enough to stress anyone out but him even more so. When we take our trips he’s almost like a different kid. His first trip to Disneyland was last summer, change and people are a huge thing for him but he handled it well. He pushed his limits by talking to cast members, something he wouldn’t have done anywhere else. His first experience was with Ariel, one I’ll never forget. She told him she knows how confusing the human world can be and he related to that more than she will ever know. He’s learning how to deal with crowds and noise with just enough fun to make him want to push through. Our now five year old is learning to do things even if they’re kind of scary. They’re learning about flying and what it’s like to be somewhere new. They are making memories that they will carry with long after we are gone.

A few years ago, we pulled Dominic out of school to drive out to Montana. He got to visit many states along the way. He experienced the beauty of the mountains and learned what real snow is. Our boys have already been more places than I have when I was their age. Now a fire inside them has been lit, they want to visit Paris, Japan, even Egypt. They want to learn about Pharaohs and pyramids and see the Eiffel Tower. There’s so much they want to see and learn and experience and we will. Sure they can sit in a classroom and read about these places but given the chance wouldn’t you rather see them for yourself? Now that my kids are starting to understand how big the world really is, now that they’ve flown on planes and realize how far they can take you they have an interest in seeing it all. I’m a strong believer in experiencing life and culture outside of the little corner of the earth we call home. I think it forces us to open our eyes and be accepting of differences among us. It teaches us appreciation and drives us to be better.

There’s no denying that school is an important part of our children’s lives, our teachers work tirelessly for our kids. I could never do what they do but there is so much more to education than just school. I strongly believe that life experiences are really important, I also believe in making memories as much as possible. If you don’t agree leave me a comment and let me know why? If you do tell me one of you favorite memories you have from traveling.