When I think back to my childhood, I can remember a few very special toys, but most of my memories are times spent with people who loved me.
Spending a few days with my grandchildren as their primary caregiver reminds me how important the simple gift of our time is to children. It is not enough to have shared time with us, they each crave individual time where each of them can feel like the most important thing in our life. And that, my friend requires some planning. It is not the easiest thing to accomplish with multiple children, but it is so important.
Even looking back on the time with my own children, my special memories are also around moments. Moments as a family unit but also moments where it was just the two of us. Moments where we talked about important things and moments we laughed in silliness.
I look at the debris path sometimes left behind from poorly constructed toys. They have such a short time span in which they occupy a child’s time and energy. Yesterday, for instance, I taught my granddaughter how to cut paper dolls that hold hands and she showed me how to cut snowflakes out of paper. When my grandson wants to play something, he always goes back to make-up games we have played for years that require nothing but imagination.
Of course they have their favorite toys, but what they really want from us is quality time with no phones or interruptions. Of course that requires time and energy, but it is so rewarding. This is the time that creates forever memories.