I am rarely a planner of momentous events in my children’s lives. So much of my own favorite memories as a kid were of things mundane or special but simple times. The Christmas dress my mom made me. The first time as a kid I ever saw my mom or dad cry. Seeing my principle at the grocery store (for some reason that greatly shocked me).
I do have memories of trips or activities I know my parents labored hard to provide for us…but overall, I’d have to say trips or activities in and of themselves are not a good guarantee that it will be remembered. Particularly by a child. Still, even if my daughter forgets the events of her 9th birthday, I’m confident she will have some very precious memories from it. I know I will remember it always.
Being recently introduced to American Girl dolls, we decided to take a trip to our state’s only store for a girl’s day to get a doll and a few accessories for her birthday. Part of the greatness of this day was family was together. Both my mother and my mother-in-law were able to go with us to make a truly wonderful trip. My daughter’s attitude was all a parent could wish for: eager, thankful, hopeful, and grateful. For the two weeks prior our trip, she sat and listed her “wants” from the catalog and website. After explaining the financial aspect of that list and the inability to get everything on it, she immediately took matters into her own hands. She offered her cleaning services to both sets of grandparents for several days worth of difficult cleaning tasks to earn money. Even with cautioning her that she still may not be able to come away with enough for her wish list, she calmly stated her understanding but wanted to try. Her hard work, diligence and good attitude funded almost half of her wish-list! I was and am so very proud of the lessons she learned in the process and it made the day shopping so much more enjoyable knowing she earned so much of it.
At the store, we all had a great time. We shopped and looked at all the pretty dolls, helping Sabrina pick out the outfits and accessories she wanted and then sitting down and making sure we were within our birthday budget and her own earnings budget. Her attitude was fabulous, as even in the heat of the moment, she responded to counsel well and without whining or complaining. She got far more than she expected due to her hard work! As a finale of fun…both myself and my mom got our own favorite doll, with the express instructions to Sabrina that she needs to play with them too. We then adjourned with our packages and dolls to have a tea party, dolls included. Again, a proud moment when my daughter realized the purpose of a box of conversation starters, as she took control and proceeded to orchestrate our conversations. It was by far one of the best days with my daughter and family I have ever had.
I’m sure time will fuzz the details of it for my daughter…who knows what parts of it she will remember. But I will always remember the joy and thankfulness of my daughter that day, the power of her faith in the temptation for more than she could get and her interaction with adults that showed her character to be far more mature than her nine years.