Driving through town with my three year old son today, I began to realize that his memories were organized by many of the landmarks in town.
“Mom, there’s the duck park and the carousel. We went there with Chris”
“And that’s where we watch the parade. The parade has firemen and drums”
“We go to that park and sometimes we go on the playground and sometimes we go to the splash pool. Sometimes grandma and grandpa meet us there and it’s fun”
And so it went. We must have passed at least 10 places that sparked a memory for him. A fond memory. And each time he looked at me with this satisfied look on his face, as though he was reliving those moments with each mention. I know that it’s a byproduct of my weekend ritual – getting the kids up on a Saturday morning and spending some time doing something fun. I look forward to those Saturday mornings all week, and I think they do too.
I recalled my conscious streams of thoughts over the last week (did we import the right slide into the deck, is the pricing right, what time are we leaving for the pitch, does M have enough diapers, does J need more snacks, are the kid’s school sheets clean, etc, etc, etc) and recognized that my thoughts throughout the week were functional, neurotic, working mom thoughts.
On our arrival home, I put both kids down for a nap and readjusted my mindset. As I looked out the window, I recalled J and M sitting at their Little Tykes table on the first nice day of spring, sharing a meal and giggling. And J and his dad running through the woods playing tag. The fire pit brought back memories of the kids’ first smores, the porch reminded me of bubbles, the freshly cut grass served up memories of the kids playing with their toy lawnmowers – often times following one of us while we were finishing our adult chores.
I looked inside and the thoughts kept coming – there was a wonderous child memory in every room, in every corner, in every nook and cranny that a 3-year-old and his little sister could get into. These thoughts were restorative, and better than taking a mid-afternoon nap myself, I promise you.
I began to recognize the filter that adults often use just to “get through” the busy week. Staying focused on all of the things that need to be done, vs. focusing in on the thoughts that really restore the soul, propel us forward, and fill our happiness quotient for the day. If you are in need of filling your happiness quotient, try it, it works.