Today we ate:
- Breakfast: Green smoothies and tofu scramble for Dad and LP. Mom got to sleep in (YAY!) and then enjoyed some tofu scramble and tea.
- Lunch: Mom and Dad polished off the pasta and eggplant caccitore. LP had the rest of the skillet dish from last night.
- Mom munched on crackers and cream cheese for a snack. Dad and LP had some crackers and peanut butter.
- Dinner: Arroz non Pollo from The Vegetarian Slow Cooker. This was our first rice dish from the slow cooker. It was a good one!
Today we hung out at home after a long nap from IP followed by a long nap for LP. Not getting to leave the house means no money spent!
As part of the massive decluttering project I’m undertaking I unearthed an adorable little canvas with paint that is supposed to be used to capture a child’s hand and/or footprint. I’m pretty sure we received it when LP was born, but then it was buried in the mass of child-related things we acquired. Anyways, it’s a cute little set with two pieces of canvas, so I figured we could get a print of LP’s hand and a print of IP’s hands as a set. Of course, then we have a cute little canvas set of handprints, but to what end I’m not sure.
I was following this train of thought while watching LP play with his train tracks. As I sat there admiring his imaginative play (who knew that a school bus could be connected to a large green steam engine!) I considered the point of such childhood memorabilia. What would we do with cute little handprints on pastel canvas? Display them in the kids’ room? Put them away in the basement with our high school yearbooks? Gift them to an unsuspecting family member?
And what would be the purpose of having such a thing? Would it bring on nostalgia when we see 17-year-old LP’s hands as he plays high school basketball? Would it make us pine for these beautiful days of childhood when IP is filling out college applications?
I wonder if I actually want to be that nostalgic about my kid’s childhood. Sure, I want to remember the simple joys of these days. The building of the train tracks. The squeals of baby delight at a game of peek-a-boo. The mess of feeding IP oatmeal. The mess of LP drawing train tracks (yes, he has a train obsession. Blame his Grandpa). But I also want to enjoy the rest of it too. I want to enjoy the future school successes and I want to hold onto the many times they will learn and grow after failing. I want to live in the moment even when they are dealing with their first heartbreak, trying to “be themselves” or whatever else the teen angst years will bring. I’m sure I will already be able to feel plenty of nostalgia in those moments, even without those handprints to remind me. Then, someday, they might have children of their own. I will get to hold their babies and remember when they themselves were small, fragile and infinitely miraculous. It might be fun, then, to compare the handprints of my children to the handprints of my grandchildren. But, as far as I can tell, LP and IP’s grandparents have enjoyed their time with their grandchildren quite a bit with out ever needing this connection to the past.
Actual experiences is what I hope for. I don’t need a handprint to remind me of the cycle of life. I don’t need a pastel canvas to show me that my children have grown, changed, become their own people long after those early days when I grew and nurtured them from my body. Instead I’ll have the real deal. I’ll have my kids, growing into childhood, young adulthood and beyond. Maybe I’ll even have their own kids to reinforce the magic and miracle that comes with having children. This experience is really the memento that I want the most. I don’t need to save this time with them, or all the future times. I need to live it.
Note: Of course, I think LP would have a blast getting his (and IP’s) hands messy with paint. So we’ll probably make the handprints, but we’ll do it for the experience. What we do with the final product is far less important.
2 thoughts on “Saturday: Saving Childhood Memories”
We have yours and your sister’s handprint impressions hanging on our office wall! We still enjoy them, along with the coasters, paper weights, and “MOM” wall-hangings you made during your childhoods.
Sounds like we might need to put our kids handprints up in our “spare” room. Perhaps they can join the other artwork on the wall – like the pictures of Grandma and Grandpa Hobo cleaning out the horse stalls 😉