While talking to my 83 year old neighbor we started discussing some of our favorite childhood memories. What was interesting to me is that for her, and myself, the special memories are not the “big” things that happened but the little, everyday moments. I had the chance to talk to my neighbor’s visiting great-granddaughter and even her favorite memories are the ordinary moments – sitting on Nana’s lap helping her knit.
The Clothes Line
One of my favorite memories is helping my grandmother putting the laundry on the line and taking it off. Part of the memories is the smell of the flowers, the grass and the clean sunny clothes. The best part is the long talks we had. We talked about silly things and important things while our hands were busy hanging and folding the laundry.
Another favorite memory I have is hanging laundry on the line at my childhood home, between the ages of 6 and 10. My mom and I hung the laundry on the line and had to watch for the squirrels. They would sit in the pear tree, close to the line, and chatter at us. And when the pears were almost ripe, the squirrels would pick them, nibble on them and drop the cores on the clean laundry. It would make my mom so upset. But it was also funny because of the antics of the squirrels. My mom and I had long talks while hanging and folding the laundry too. She shared that she had loved doing the same things with her mom. Runs in the family.
My kids and I are making similar memories, putting laundry on the line. We help each other get the sheets on the line, sharing giggles as we get stuck under one. We have fun in the sun as we do this too. We talk while our hands are busy, sharing silly questions and serious questions. Hanging laundry on the line gives us not only quiet moments to connect but lovely everyday memories that I’ll cherish and I hope my kids will too.
What everyday activities do you and your children enjoy doing together? Think about how you and your kids connect during that activity. A friend of mine and her kids like clearing the table after dinner. Sounds odd I know. But they have good discussions while their hands are busy and they are getting a chore done. There are plenty of unique ways we share quiet moments connecting with our children. Don’t forget to look at the mundane, everyday moments because some of them turn out to be favorite childhood memories.