Memories and Memorable People

Recently I spoke to a group of young mothers with preschoolers, and we reflected on “shoulds,” cultural expectations, and the reality that we often take on a lot more pressure in mothering (and most aspects of life) than is strictly necessary.

I’ll invite you to the same reflection I offered to that audience:

  • Think back to your childhood. What is your happiest memory? STOP and close your eyes and come up with one. Now… I wonder if that memory involved something technological or something that was perfectly planned and executed or if it had something to do with a more simple joy in life or perhaps even something that went hilariously, disastrously wrong and turned out funny.
  • Now think about a person who was important to you in your childhood. Again, close your eyes and find one. Now… I wonder if that person is meaningful to you because they were “omnicompetent” or because they just loved you, accepted you, cared for you when you didn’t feel lovable.

And yet we parent our children as if their happiness and growth depended on our doing a zillion busy things well instead of just loving them and having the space and presence to be with them without a huge, complicated agenda.


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