Growing memories

What’s the best birthday gift you got as a kid? Do you even remember the gifts? I am trying to recall them for myself: lots of barbie dolls and books and cassette tapes (heh-heh, remember those?).
We celebrated our youngest daughter’s 4th birthday this weekend- a time to really hit “pause” and note how truly blessed we are with these amazing little girls. I often think that one of the hardest things to do as a parent is to just stop and really BE here with them – relishing the little moments of each day with the kids and creating memories that will last. Most weeks are just a blur of activity, with the hope that somewhere in there we are managing to teach them some valuable lessons about what’s important in life and how to do things for themselves.

Which brings me back to the birthday gift. Amongst the many sweet and adorable gifts generously given to my daughter, there was one unique and brilliantly simple one: a tree.

Now I can’t really expect a 4 year old to grasp a tree as the most fun and exciting of all the gifts- but I applaud the givers for succeeding in a gift that will be memorable for sure. In time, we will see it as one that creates memories- as she plays in its shade, climbs its branches, reads her books under it. A gift that will grow as she grows. What a great idea!

Her Aunt wanted to give a gift that would model the importance of sustainability, which is a value we all work hard to instill in these kids- hoping to make it a natural part of their lifestyle as they grow.

We helped her choose a place in the yard for “her” tree, and she danced in the rain as we planted it. I snapped a picture of her next to it- it’s pretty much the same height as she is now- and we made a plan to take a birthday picture each year next to her tree. Creating memories, capturing moments in childhood. I am in love with this gift idea, and wish I would have thought if it years ago- and am thankful to have family as thoughtful as this in my kids lives.

The best part, I think, is that our 8 year old is actually kinda jealous of the tree, and asked for one of her own so she could watch one grow with her. “Plus,” she informed me “trees are really good for us.”

I think just maybe some of the lessons are working.


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