Do you ever wonder what memories your children will treasure when they become adults? Down the road, you may be surprised by what they recall.

Picture this scene: It’s your daughter’s 10th birthday. You want to make her party extra special. After all, as she has told you every day for the past month, she’s finally in the double digits and "no longer a child." You’ve plotted a surprise birthday party for weeks. You’ve invited her friends, bought snacks, hung pink and purple streamers, blown up balloons, spent hours meticulously decorating the cake and hired Sparkles the Clown. The guests arrive, and the party is a huge success.

The memories that matter

Years later, as the two of you swap your favourite memories, your daughter mentions her 10th birthday. You assume she will rave about the beautiful cake and Sparkles’ funny balloon animals, but instead she recalls how much fun it was to ride in the van with you to pick up doughnuts for breakfast. Not only were doughnuts a special treat, but the one-on-one time she had with you was also priceless. You sit dumbfounded and wonder what other simple memories she holds dear that you do not even remember.

Everyday interactions may be more meaningful than many parents realize. Many children find just as much, or even more, joy in the little things as they do in life’s big events. Eating a special breakfast of chocolate-chip pancakes, picking out the perfect backpack for the first day of school and singing silly songs in the car could be the highlights of your children’s younger years.

Busyness can make it difficult for parents to savour life’s ordinary moments. But it is precisely those moments that your children will treasure forever.

I am speaking from personal experience: That little girl enjoying a trip to the store was me. And to this day, that simple event remains one of my favourite memories of time spent with my father.

© 2009 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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