Yesterday I wrote about traditions.  We have several in my family.  From red velvet cake on birthdays to holiday pies and Christmas ornaments, we have those traditions that bind us.  What also binds us are the memories that our family shares. 

Memories that we share as a family bind us through their emotional echoes down through the years.  Whether it was through laughter or tears, a moment happened that stays with us forever.  You know the moment.  It’s the “Remember when Dad….”  or it’s that look that you give each other when something happens and you both just start laughing. And no one else gets it.  For us, the “Bondini Incident” will always bring tears of laughter to our eyes. 

I cherish our family memories.  I still get a little misty over the memory of my dear one holding our first born.  But I grin at the memory of him reasoning with her over why crying wasn’t a productive way to get your needs met.  She was five-days-old at the time. 

I still remember my exasperation when we were half-way to the hospital for our older son’s birth and I looked at him and asked, “Can we talk about baby names NOW?”  He answered with our son’s name.  Said God told him when I went into labor.  It was a memorable moment between labor pains. 

I also remember our first trip to Disney with our first three children.  We stayed in a two-bedroom condo off property.  There are all the expected memories of Disney.  But, one of the strongest memories is of what happened when I, who was new to the use of a mechanical dishwasher, used dish liquid because I didn’t know it wouldn’t work the same.  I filled the cup.  Ankle deep suds and hysterical laughter.  To this day, it is a reference point for an out-of-control sudsing mess. 

Memories, for better or worse, are what form as life happens.  They hold us together.  They provide the reference points.  They are an emotional glue in life.  Usually, they just happen.  But we can have a hand in making them. 

Start a tradition, do something with a child, or a grandchild, or your family on a regular basis.  You don’t have to go to Disney for a memory.  I interview people as a part of my job.  One of the questions I ask them is about their favorite memory from childhood.  Usually it is something simple.  A weekly Friday night ice cream cone at Dairy Queen with their father, playing ball in the yard, fishing with grandpa, and Sunday dinners at grandma’s house are some of the things I hear.  I really enjoy the look on their face when they tell it.  They go back there for a moment.  Transported.

So, go for breakfast together on a Saturday or always cook Mickey Mouse pancakes on that day.  Have a family meal on Sundays after church.  Spend time together at yard sales.  Have a family game night.  Pray with your child every night.  Have a monthly picnic.  Buy an ice cream cone together on Tuesday nights.  Find something simple.  Just do it. 

What things do you do to create a family memory?  Share your ideas here.  But most of all, just start creating them.  When you do, you create that link to the past for those you love.  A signpost of good moments. 

Tomorrow: Our funniest family story, “The Bondini Incident.” 

Genesis 9:16

And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that [is] upon the earth.

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