Making Memories (and Why Being Present Really Matters)

My mom recently sold our childhood home. It was bittersweet going through boxes of things as my sisters and I helped her pack up the house. Over the course of our time packing things up, we were reminded of so many memories, so many things we did or experienced over the nearly 25 years that this house was our home. Over and over we’d say things like, “oh my God, do you remember this?” and “I can’t believe we survived that!” and “I completely forgot about this…why on earth would we hold on to this?” and “Dear God, burn those pictures… yikes.”

It brought up memories that generated lots of stories and lots of laughs as we relived the experiences we had and shared when we lived in that house.

As I reflect back on that day and the memories it brought back to the surface, I think what was most precious about it was the reminder of how present my mom was in all aspects of our lives. In every one of our stories, my mom played a role. Even in the stories we shared when she wasn’t a key player, she knew about it. She was always there, watching, listening and caring. She was totally present in our lives.

I’m reading a book called Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford and one of the messages the author shares is the importance of being present in everything you do by ridding yourself of distractions. Whether it’s the phone, the TV, challenges at work or something else, forcing yourself to be totally present in the moment is how you make memories. It’s how you build and sustain relationships. It’s how you truly live life.

I often find it easy to zone out and scroll through Facebook or check email at the end of the day as my boys finish dinner and I wait for the next round of dishes to be handed to me, but as they burst into a fit of giggles, I’m quickly reminded that these days of their toddler giggles as they *frustratingly* throw peas across the table at each other won’t last forever. And I’ve put the phone down. I don’t turn on the evening news. I only put some soft background music on that we can listen to, music we all sing along to and dance to together.

Those are the memories I’m making. Those are the memories we’re going to share when we’re uncovering things as we move on to our next adventure. And I’m so excited to relive those memories, and even more excited to be present in each moment so my boys know I’m always there and always listening, despite my repeated reminders to stop throwing food and to stop talking with food in your mouth.

Memories – it’s what makes a most amazing life.

Take Action
What is one thing you can do differently today to ensure you’re fully tuned in to what’s happening in front of you? Don’t miss the opportunity to make memories. They will last a lifetime.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading What Type of Parent are You?

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