I cry a lot. Happy, sad, excited, sentimental..one of my many nicknames in college was "The Crier." I am admittedly an emotional person and I just can't hold back the tears most of the time. But something strange made me tear up today. Something unexpected and it brought with it a little perspective.
Along with being emotional, I am a worrier. I have trouble sleeping and am often kept awake by random worries that I have little or no control over. One of the things I often worry about is ensuring my kids have a happy childhood. Obviously most (or probably all) parents share this concern but it is constantly on my mind. I want them to look back on their childhood and smile and I also want it to lay the groundwork for a happy and fulfilling adulthood.
I think one of the reasons I worry about this is due to my own childhood. It had it's ups, downs and worries and I think it's normal for parents to want to try and avoid the downs and worries for their own kids. But then I took a few minutes and tried to recall my first childhood memories. I was at the gym on a treadmill, so I was in much need of distraction. Here are a few of the moments that popped into my head...
Sneaking into my uncle's room at our house to watch movies on his big TV (the kind that sat on the floor).
Riding bikes. Riding around our apartment complex, riding with my cousins around the school parking lot.
Playing dress up with my cousin. They had the BEST "olden times" dress up clothes.
Playing "Sound of Music" with my grandma. I would climb on the furniture while she sang "Climb Every Mountain."
Singing with my mom, especially at Christmas time.
And if you haven't had the same lightbulb moment yet that I did, let me fill you in. All of these memories are happy. Beyond that, they are filled with love, laughter and absolutely nothing flashy. Not a single dime was spent and we weren't even anywhere besides the homes of my loved ones. Of course I remember the tough times too, but they were absolutely not the first ones that came to mind.
So back to this morning and that random, tearful moment. This happened...
I made Aiden peanut butter bread for breakfast, his favorite. I instinctively traced a heart onto it with the end of the knife. It wasn't until after looking at it that I remembered. My grandma and mom did this for me. I used to eat this all of the time, and there was always a heart. Simple and they probably didn't even think much of it. But I remember it and it made me smile every time. And guess what? When I gave it to Aiden, he smiled. And said his favorite current tagline..."it's so fun!"
So maybe I need to stop worrying and start drawing more hearts. I have a feeling my kids are going to remember those more than the flashy stuff anyway. And I probably will too.