I was recently sitting on my porch with my children, quietly enjoying a snack that Lily had made as we listened to the sounds of spring: birds chirping, a lawn-mower mowing, the gentle breeze blowing through the trees.
I cherished the way Lily served by giving everyone second helpings of the snack she’d prepared. My heart rejoiced at the carefree sounds Grace was making as she cheerfully mimicked the spring noises she was hearing around us.
It was so beautiful, so perfect that I wanted to grasp onto it, to somehow capture the moment forever. The way Lily’s hair softly framed her face after a few strands escaped her wavy ponytail. How cute Grace’s mouth looked as she happily crunched her apple slices. Their sweet voices breaking into our quietness as they chattered back and forth.
I started reaching for my phone thinking that I could take a few photos, maybe even a short video. Something to help me remember. Then I stopped. Even more than I wanted to capture the memory, I wanted to savor the moment. Life looks different through a lens.
And just as I don’t want the bulk of my children’s memories of me to be me staring into a bright screen instead of into their eyes, I also don’t want the bulk of their childhood memories to be interruptions as they had to stop what they were doing to smile at the little rectangle I was holding in front of me.
I want the majority of their memories to be of joyful moments as they learned, played, worked, and grew together. Even though this particular memory, and many of the others like it, may one day be forgotten, I want my children to remember how they felt: hopefully unrushed and un-interrupted as they savored and enjoyed life together.
Because sometimes the real gift is in the beauty of a moment, not the preservation of a memory.
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