My 10-year-old daughter was being questioned by police. Not for anything she did, but for what she witnessed. She recounted what she saw:
I was in front of the school when I saw this red car back up and crash right into the side of a car in the parking lot. The girl standing next to me said, ‘Oh no, my mom just hit a car!’ And then I said, ‘Oh no, your mom just hit MY mom’s car!’ We thought it was kind of funny.”
After giving her statement to police, my daughter looked back to my wife and mouthed, “This is SO cool!”
We didn’t think it was so funny or cool, though. It turns out the driver was uninsured and on oxycontin following a recent surgical procedure. Opting not to pursue legal action, we were left holding the bill for the damages. Thankfully, no one was in the parked car.
At dinner that night, I asked my daughter why she thought it was cool. With exuberance she revealed, “Because I have an exciting story to tell my friends at school tomorrow!”
In the midst of our frustration, we couldn’t help but chuckle at how whimsical she was about it all.
KIDS WILL BE KIDS AND KIDS LOVE STORIES.
Actually, everyone loves stories. It’s ingrained in us. From bedtime tales, to motion pictures, to video games, we are constantly seeking out stories in various forms.
AND NOTHING BEATS A STORY LIVED BY US.
As a parent, you get to direct life experiences your child will never forget. You are the chief memory maker of your family. You hold the incredible responsibility to provide memories that will last a lifetime. Stories your children will tell their children and grandchildren about.
HOW TO MAKE A MEMORY
It’s been said, “Kid’s don’t remember what you told them, but they do remember how you made them feel.” And people feel by immersing themselves in an experience that activates the senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound). Add in something unexpected, remarkable, or fun and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable memory.
OUR CHARGE AS PARENTS…
…is to be an active participate in the lives of our children. Give them stories they can’t wait to tell their friends about. Take them on adventures, have them try something new, serve others in need, do a fun project, be creative. It doesn’t take much. It just takes time.
The John Crudele quote rings true, “Kids spell love, T-I-M-E.” As chief memory makers, we need to remember that and live it out.
Do things together, experience stories together, and make memories together.
THIS IS WHAT I’M LEARNING
My teenage son recently revealed that one of his best memories was when he and I played light saber wars in the dark in our backyard with nothing but the glow and distinct sounds of the light sabers. Who knew something so simple would be so memorable? He added, “None of my friends dads would do something like that.” I want to create more memories like this for my kids.
I’m far from a perfect dad. For a variety of reasons, I’ve missed out on some opportunities I wished I could get back. But rather than live with regrets of what could have been, I’m making it my mission to live with a vision of what could be.
Because here’s what I know…
TIME GOES BY FAST
You don’t want to be left with time you wished you could get back. It doesn’t work that way. And it seems the older your kids get, the quicker the years fly by. As the Trace Adkins song goes, “You may not know it now, but you’re gonna miss this.” You will. So take the time to be there, soak it all in, and enjoy it.
May your family remember it was you who was with them during their most thrilling tales and unforgettable moments.
Go, and give ’em stories to tell!