From the day my kids came into this world I have been worrying about making sure they both have everything they need, and creating good memories that will last a lifetime. Well it recently occurred to me that I am trying way to hard. The memories that seem to resonate the most with my kids are the simple times that we spend together being silly.
Pajama breakfast at the local dive.
On St. Patrick’s day morning, the kids and I woke up way too early as we often do (the Ethan Effect). Maya had been fussing all week about doing something special for St. Patrick’s Day. Andrew was out of the country and I was tired as *%$#. Needless to say, when Ethan woke up at 6:15 am, I was in no shape and no mood to make the green eggs and pancakes that I had promised Maya Boo. I quickly tried to think of an alternative that would satisfy the terms of the promise. As most parents know, it is nearly impossible to back out of a deal with a 5-year-old and live to talk about it. The best alternative that I could come up with on such short notice was breakfast at a local dive in our pajamas. This was like scoring a game winning touchdown in the final moments of a Super Bowl, Maya was instantly thrilled. I had dodged a bullet. Maya had recently come into a pair of obnoxiously pink, fluffy slippers that just had to be shared with the world. Ethan was a bit reluctant about leaving the house for yet another meal. He tends to be a homebody. He just wants to be were the toys are close and the food is fast. I slipped into my fluffy Mickey Mouse pajama, really should not be worn in public pants, a warm sweatshirt, and come comfy slippers, and we hit the road. Neither of the kids can tell you what they ate or what they did for the rest of the day, but they loved that we went out in our jammies. As a bonus, Maya got to go pay at the counter all by herself. You would have thought someone gave her a million dollars.
Late Fall Plantings
At the end of last fall, we were visiting Home Depot and came across some tulip and daffodil bulbs. The kids were instantly captivated by all the endless color possibilities. I was excited about the idea of having a space and the time to plant a garden with the kids. We purchased two or three bags of bulbs. Having never planted bulbs before, I read and checked all the directions and made sure to get the correct sequence of bloomers to make sure that we would have blossoms all spring. We planted the bulbs in nice neat rows and then waited. Winter came and went this year with a record low in the snowfall department. I was a bit worried about the bulbs because they need that snowmelt and cold weather to grow. Spring arrived and with temperatures swaying from the high 70s to the mid-40s on any given day the kids found a renewed interest in the garden. A few weeks later Maya noticed the tiny green leaves starting to push their way through the soft dirt. It became a daily ritual to go out and check on the flowers. The Daffodils bloomed first. They were not as yellow as some that we have seen, but the kids were still delighted. Next, our Tulips bloomed. We planted several different color combinations. They looked just like the ones on our “Welcome” flag. The kids still check them daily.
This as you may guess was accidentally a memorable moment. I know it sounds bad, but when the boy needs to go, he needs to go. We were on the way home from soccer practice and Ethan had to go pee pee. Folks from Minnesota already know that occasionally you may find yourself on a stretch of road that does not have a restroom easily available. That was our predicament on this particular day. Andrew and I decided that it would be alright on this rare occasion to let him go pee pee in the “tall grass” on the side of the road. Little did we know the tall grass would become Ethan’s favorite place to urinate. Now, every time we get the car, Ethan has a pee pee emergency and can’t possibly keep it in. Now, without fail, when we are in the car for any amount of time, Ethan’s sweet little voice rings out clear from the back seat, “I need to go pee pee in the tall grass.”
From these experiences I have learned to just let the memories happen. As the parent, I can set the stage for what I think will be good memories, but I never know what they are going to take from the experiences.