A few years ago I attended a funeral. As each grown child spoke about their mother, I leaned in to listen. I’m fascinated by the memories left on a child’s heart, and I waited to hear their special memories.
One recounted how his mom always looked nice. “Her purse and shoes always matched,” he said. “She never went out of the house without her lipstick.”
Another told a story of how their home was perfect. “Not a thing out of place,” he shared.
The last child said that every time she smelled PineSol™ it reminded her of her mother.
Later, as I drove home, I wondered what my children’s memories would one day be. . . and I prayed it wouldn’t be my shoes, my perfect home, or the sweet smell of PineSol™.
Hear my heart, it’s not that I’m saying this wasn’t a great mom, because she most likely was amazing.
It’s just sometimes we can get so tangled up in what we do as moms, that we might forget the power of the littlest things that create lasting memories, like:
Jumping on the bed.
Coloring outside the lines.
Laughing until tears run down our cheeks.
Adventures that cost little, but that are packed with fun.
When my children were young, I was young, too. I was twenty-three with three children under the age of nineteen months. There were times I felt buried in diapers and laundry, toys and tasks.
As my children grew it felt like keeping a clean house was like mowing the lawn, only to go back outside twenty minutes later and it had grown 10 inches.
But my prayer is that they won’t remember a mom so concentrated on the house, or dishes, or appointments, or how we all looked, that these sweet memories are overshadowed.
Like sitting on a fallen tree and pretending it was a see saw.
Swimming at Honor’s Height Park, their floaties making them as brave as Aqua Man.
Mama laughing so hard she held her sides at their sweet jokes.
The beauty of being a mom is that it doesn’t end. Today my kids are grown and now they’re watching me make memories with their children. Time has taught me that it’s the littlest things that make the biggest memories. Just this past month these memories were birthed.
Memories that I savor now, knowing they’ll only be more precious one day.
Holding Jane in my arms under a starry sky and a string of bright lights and dancing. Jane tucking her face in my shoulder and singing along with the tune.
Sitting with Audrey and gently flipping her back until her legs and diapered bottom wiggle in the air. Her whispered words of, “Gaga, do it again,” buried in giggles.
Driving with Luke in his car seat behind me. Our conversation was silly, and he laughed in delight.
Little Josiah, just one year-old, running with open arms and a toothy smile, crashing into me for an open-mouthed kiss.
Elle, my oldest grandchild at four, looking into my eyes and saying, “Say four nice things about me, Gaga.”
I tell her she is brave and strong, that I love her, and that she is smart. I add one more. “And you are loved by Jesus,” I whispered. “Always.”
She kisses my hand and runs off to play.
Maybe you’ve been trying to be perfect, and you almost didn’t see that precious memory you made that will far surpass the fact that your bed wasn’t made or that you haven’t wore lip gloss in days or your yoga pants have become a mainstay. Maybe you feel that the toys will never be picked up, or that somehow every other mom on earth is doing it better.
Will you do yourself a favor?
Jump on the bed.
Savor that sweet kiss.
Dance under the stars with your child in your arms.
Make some memories.