If I had a dime for every “thing” I bought for my kids over the past 21 years of being a mom, I would be able to buy myself a new house and a new car in cash by now. To add a little insane to that crazy, all of those “things” I bought for them have disappeared, were broken, or were just given away.
I honestly can’t name one thing my oldest two still have that I purchased for them in the first five years of their lives. Just to clarify a little, when I say “things” I am not including necessities. I am referring to just the things they wanted or things I wanted to give them because I thought they would like them.
Of course, they enjoyed these things when they received them; sometimes for a day and sometimes for a few months. However, eventually they forgot all about them. My toddler currently has so many toys that we can take half of them and put them in a closet for a few months then bring them back out and he thinks they are all brand new (I highly recommend this by the way).
I seriously hate to admit it, but it’s taken me 21 years as a mom to realize just how crazy this is.
What’s left when the “things” are gone? Nothing.
When I’m gone, I don’t want to be remembered as the mom who bought her kids lots of things. I want to leave my kids with memories; lots of happy memories with me.
Because of this, I’ve decided that from this point on, I am choosing memories over things.
Instead of gifting my children things they want, I will stick to what they need and ensure everything else is worthy of a lasting memory.
“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.”
For starters, instead of giving my teenage daughter a bunch of expensive things for Christmas that she didn’t need and I knew would end up in her closet before summer, I decided to surprise her with a mother/daughter road trip across the country. I made a puzzle out of the message and wrapped it up in a Christmas present, which she then had to figure out after opening. I was so excited for her to discover my plan, and she was thrilled to learn of the journey ahead of us.
She and I will be jumping in a rental car and driving 2,000 miles from South Carolina to Arizona to spend the entire week together exploring the Grand Canyon; a place she nor I have ever been!
I’ve honestly never driven that far in my life so this entire experience is going to be brand new for us both. Stuck in a car together for nearly two days, spending a week together roughing it in the outdoors, then stuck in the car together for another two days on the way home.
A lot of people have asked why we don’t just fly there and back. The thing is, it’s the journey that I am looking forward to the most. We may end up arguing a lot, but we will be stuck together, side by side. It will be the ultimate test of our bond as well as my sanity. It will be something she remembers for the rest of her life and I hope she carries with her in raising her own children one day.
It will be a gift that can never be lost or given away.
I am so excited to take this trip with my daughter and make memories that I know we will both cherish for as long as we both continue to breathe. I hope to make many more with my daughter, as well as my boys.
Things come and go, but memories, the ones that truly leave an impact, last forever.
Forever is my goal.