I love thinking about the memories my kids will have of growing up and try to set up new family traditions and experiences that I know they’ll recall for years to come.
When I think back to my childhood, it’s specific experiences that stand out. Like swimming with my cousins in Queensland. Or my favourite uncle taking me shopping and slipping the latest Enid Blyton book into the trolley for me to discover at home.
It’s the little moments, the ones that make you feel loved and special at the time, that you remember years later. Most of us have these special memories of growing up, that can usually be tied back to a family member or caregiver.
So when popular Twitter user Mikki Kendall started a thread with one of her favourite memories growing up, she invited others to share their traditions and best memories of growing up.
Little traditions make the best memories
My grandma & I had a tradition where we would go get our hair done, come home eat French fries & watch TV together. It's why I love mysteries & westerns & soaps. What is your favorite parent/grandparent/guardian memory & how does it still influence you?
— Openly Black Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) October 17, 2018
The popular writer wrote: “My grandma & I had a tradition where we would go get our hair done, come home eat French fries & watch TV together,” she wrote. “It’s why I love mysteries & westerns & soaps. What is your favourite parent/grandparent/guardian memory & how does it still influence you?”
The responses came thick and fast, reminding everyone of how special family is – and how lucky we are to have felt loved as kids:
Gran would send me home from 8 to 17 w a frozen loaf of her zucchini bread & a grocery bag full of romance novels, read by gran, g-auntie, mom, me and my sister before they ever hit a used bookstore.
Gran is dead, but I'm a zuchini-bread baking, romance-reading English teacher.
— Erin Griggs, M.A., M.Ed. (@Wordslingeuse) October 17, 2018
My dad taught my sisters and me to play– we used toothpicks!
— Andrea (@andreamarie216) October 18, 2018
That's identical to one of MY memories but I used Ponds Cold Cream, instead. It smelled like almonds and I can't smell almond anything without thinking of my Gran.💛👭💛
— BabyBlueEyes (@BlueCatInTheSky) October 17, 2018
After she died 2.5 years ago, I would wander the local thrift stores for hours. Just missing her &remembering all the times we crammed a cart-full into one dressing room together, laughing at each ill-fitting item. She taught me value isn’t found in items, but in humor &grace.
— Ellee Achten (@elleeachten) October 17, 2018
My Mom, my best friend gone 15 years but so many good memories. We would go antique shopping. If I was sick enough to go to the doc, she always let me get some toy on the way home. And Just being in her presence as she went about her day was enough for me. I miss that the most!
— Kaye (@kdseekerjust) October 18, 2018
My daughter and I share books. We use different color highlighters to note parts that resonated with us. Her idea and I love it!
— Marion Vadella (@VadellaMarion) October 18, 2018
I loved that she shared this thing with me that I perceived as “grown up”. She was like that- she included me in her day, letting me help her bake bread or make pasta, not doing special kid activities. I loved it.
— Beth (@bethg24) October 18, 2018
It also makes you think about what’s really important in life. It’s so easy to get caught up in the negativity of the news, the state of the world or the life we should be living according to Instagram. But those special family traditions and memories of belonging cost nothing – and they mean everything. A lot of us are lucky enough to have them, and for us parents, we can create these with our own children.
The best news of all? We don’t need to make amazing experiences with our children so they’ll recall what an exciting time they had as a child. Just being with us, experiencing the relationship they have with their family is what they’ll cherish. Helping you prepare dinner, making them laugh at bedtime, getting them up in the morning with a kiss and a cuddle … that’s what they’ll remember.