I think sometimes we as parents make it so much harder than it really is. We want to do big things with our children - we want to build in their minds memories that they will carry with them long after they leave our house. Our minds seem to tell us that memories are made with grand schemes, or lots of money, and often require gobs of time.
How untrue that is most of the time. I remember a lot of my childhood having my parents struggling to make ends meet. My Dad was self- employed for many years of my childhood. Big vacations and expensive outings were not part of our lifestyle. Yet, I can recall some childhood memories that made a huge impact upon my life; and even years later I still recall them. It also is interesting to me that often the memories are centered around an ordinary schedule and routine. In other words, we were just a family living life day by day - and certain things etched their way into my heart forever.
I recall going to the parts store with my Dad. To this day, I still love the smell of grease and oil when walking into a auto parts store. I remember one such everyday occurrence when Dad let me buy a pop out of the pop machine. It was not an ordinary machine where the bottle popped out the base of the machine. It was one that you put in your money and then had to pull the handle and pull out your bottle from the machine.
I remember making zucchini bread with my Mom in the kitchen. We were making several loaves of bread that year to give to our friends for Christmas. What a day we had grating the squash and working together to create our gifts from scratch.
I remember playing the piano with my Mom sitting next to me on the bench. I would play and we would sing songs throughout the hymn book. Boy, what I would not give to go back and live one of those night over again!
I remember cleaning rabbit cages with my Dad. I liked it when he helped - he would do the dirty jobs and I would be left putting clean wood chips into the bottom of a freshly washed cage.
I remember eating breakfast in the morning and watching my Mom as she routinely read the morning paper while eating her corn puffs and drinking her diet Pepsi. I still can remember the details of the kitchen, even down to the smell as I think about this memory.
I remember Dad taking us to school and taking turns sitting next to him in the truck. When it was my turn to sit next to him I would get to put my hand on the gear shift and 'help' him as he changed gears on our commute to school.
It is nice to remind myself that memories are being made as I tuck them into bed at night. Stay up a little later to talk about their day, or ask for their help as I make a pie or luscious dessert. Even taking a couple minutes to color a page in their coloring books, can make their entire day!
I think I want things to slow down a bit so I can just live my every day life with my kids - and in the process make memories that they will take with them forever.
Trust you are enjoying the trip.