I often wonder what my children are going to be like when they reach adulthood and venture into the big, bad world. What are they going to be like as people?
And, what are they going to remember of me and their father, and of their childhood? I’m not necessarily talking in the instance of my not being here, because, obviously, I’m hoping (and assuming) that I will be around for years and years and years (and years) to come.
What do I remember of my parents, and my childhood? I am one of four children, and I know from conversations with my sisters that key events that I remember from my childhood differ from events that my sisters remember. Different children, different childhoods, even within one family. For example, one of my fondest memories of my mum is watching her turn cartwheels across the entire lawn, laughing and laughing along the way. I’ve mentioned this before and at least one sister had no idea what I was talking about.
Which leads to the question, How will my children remember me? And, perhaps more importantly, how do I want my children to remember me?
- Firstly, and most importantly, I want my kids to remember the love in this house. Mr T and I have always made the point of telling our kids that we love them, no matter what. This has never come into question, no matter how angry we are about things they have done. We might not like what they are doing, but us loving them and caring for them and being there for them should never come into question. Princess tells me she loves me regularly, and I never get tired of hearing it. If we tell BoyChild we love him, he replies, “Love you too, dude”. Bless him!
- I want my kids to remember the fun and the laughter. Mr T and I love to laugh, we both share a silly sense of humour, and I hope the kids pick this up and take it with them. The playtimes we share as a family – after bath time when the kids run around and we play “boo” or hide and seek, and we all end up laughing and laughing. I want them to remember the times like today when we were out at the doctors and got caught in a sudden downpour. Princess was walking alongside the younger kids in the pram and it very suddenly started raining. Rather than get upset, we laughed. We ran, we jumped in puddles, it was a really nice moment in what was otherwise a very stressful day. I made a big deal about getting the kids into the car before we all melted, they all laughed and laughed as I hustled them into their car seats, and then we laughed some more because my glasses were so wet I couldn’t see who was who! On a day like today, I hope that they remember times like that, not the yelling or the growling or the bossing.
- I hope that my kids remember my fashion sense, the makeup I (very rarely) wear, the perfume I choose.
- I would love my kids to remember my love of baking – the cakes we make together. I remember this from my childhood with such fond memories. And, my cooking. I would be quite pleased if they consider me to have been a halfway decent cook throughout their childhood! And, maybe when they come across a dish in their 20s, they can suddenly recall me making it years earlier. And, perhaps, call me for the recipe, just as I have done with my own mother many times before!
- I want my kids to remember me being in their lives. Taking them to classes, driving them around, being active in their lives. Being their mum.
And, of course, the flipside. I hope my kids don’t look back in thirty years and think of their mum as a grumpy person, a screaming banshee. Because, I’m not ashamed to say it, I am those things some days. But, how people perceive you is so much dependent on how you perceive yourself. So, I am working on not being a grumpy person, a screaming banshee! The way I figure it, my kids are going to remember, in all essence, the person they see me to be. If I want them to remember me for all those things I mentioned, I need to be all those things mentioned.
Take the time to play with your children, laugh with your children, let them make mess sometimes, love them, hug and kiss them, provide for them and treat them like they are the most awesome creatures around. And, it will all pay off when they are Proper Grown Ups and they turn to you and say that you, in fact, are the most awesome creature around. I can’t wait!