Parents of this generation are big on creating memories for their kids. They overspend and overstress on making the kids' childhood rosy, glowy and supercharged with fun. And for some strange reason, they believe that the kids will remember all of the back breaking work they did.
I'm here to tell you, as a 43 year old mother who was a child once too, they really won't remember all of the minutiae that you are orchestrating. Every time I question or angst over a parenting dilemma, I think to myself, "He won't even remember this. Why am I bothering?" This gave me pause today as I tried to remember some things from my childhood, like before the age of 14. I remember nothing prior to age 4 or 5.
Here is what I came up with:
1. My siblings teaching me that if I stirred my Coke long enough it would turn to root beer
2. Spaghettio Saturdays
3. A tick in my head in kindergarten
4. Wearing my underpants under my bathing suit at a summer day camp because I was too embarassed to undress in front of the other girls
5. The way my mother sprinkled paprika on my tuna fish sandwiches and how special I thought that was
6. Getting hit in the boob (12 year old ones) with a line drive shot while I was pitching a softball game
7. Playing Manhunt into the dark of night with the neighborhood kids
8. Making chocolate chip cookies every Friday night with my sister while we watched Dallas and The Dukes of Hazard while our Mom went to Bingo
9. Playing a barbaric game called "Step on Stomachs" with my brother and sister
10. Winning a spelling bee in the 5th grade
11. Lite Bright and Spirograph
12. Kissing the TV whenever David Cassidy and the Partridge Family show started
13. My mother experiencing one of the worst foot cramps in history making my dad take her to the hospital, only to end up at Burger King since the cramp disappeared en route
14. Cutting my bangs in the 3rd grade so I could look like Olivia Newton-John in Grease but ended up looking more like the other girl with the buck teeth
15. The beach every Sunday from morning til night
16. My sister throwing up on the Block Island Ferry and my mother grabbing a lady's newspaper right out of her hands to catch it
17. My dad hiding all of us and our cousins in the back of his van (like illegal immigrants) so he wouldn't have to pay by the kid at Lake Mishnock
18. My grandpa Rico, giving all of us kids shots of beer and peanuts in his basement so we could all raise our glasses and shout, "Salute and Drink!"
19. My first AA meeting at age 10
That's pretty much all I remember. Do you need to create memories for your kids? Nope. Life has a way of doing that for them!