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The One Thing I Want My Daughters to Remember

We stood in the steamy shower spray, and as my middle daughter looked into my eyes with pure glee I felt a mixture of emotions. It was that kind of speedy onslaught of thoughts that cascades all at once. Things like, how did I get so blessed? How is this my life? Did I really make this? She’s really mine! She’s amazing.

At that moment her beauty was unsurpassed, and as she excitedly proclaimed, “lift me up in the water,” childhood memories of my own flitted through my mind.

My first childhood memory, the first memory I can recall anyway, was of taking a shower with my mother. It’s vivid. I recall the way the warm water felt on my skin, the exhilaration of it pounding from above, but mostly the total trust and adoration I felt when I looked into the eyes of my wet, happy mother. Even to this day, a hot shower is my most favorite thing. You see, the memories that are worthy of holding on to, the ones that remain through the vast passage of years, those are the ones that shape you for the rest of your life. Anyone who has experienced great hurt, or triumphant love can attest to this. The things we remember are often who we become.

Yesterday I stood still, bent down in an attentive posture, and I listened to the wandering, whispered storytelling of my five-year-old. You know the ones I mean. The “hey mom, do you remember that time” ones. We were trying to get from Point A to Point B in the museum we were visiting, but at that moment my attention was on her. Her and her honestly, mostly pointless story. But not pointless to her. It wasn’t so much the story she told I wanted to hear, but her understanding that it all mattered to me. I wanted her to know mom was listening. Always.

Last night as I lay in bed thinking about our fun-filled day I realized that in a not-too-distant past I had not always been so patient and attentive. In fact, as I sadly recalled I realized much of my time over the past two and half years had been spent in some sort of harried race, and the weirdest part was I was the one judging the winner. No one was forcing me to rush about; certainly not my kids. No, I was mostly on a time clock of my own making. And sure we had responsibilities and activities that required us to be at a certain place at a certain time, but in all reality, much of the rush was my design. It’s like you get in a habit of hurrying, and you end up knowing no other way.

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I found that I was the one placing more activities on the agenda. And for what? Were dance class and gymnastics really required for a fully rounded four-year-old? Did I really need to commit myself to as much as I did, or pick up the extra jobs I just knew I needed to complete? Were the additional field trips and travel for five minutes of fun worthwhile? And while the memories in the making are always fantastic, isn’t it null and void if Mom is in a bad mood? Then for us, of course, Dad was far too busy working every single day to join his family in it all. Where would Dad exist in the memories?

Brie Gowen
Brie Gowenhttp://briegowen.com/
Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.

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