How much do our children remember about the kind of parent we are?



          Do you think children remember the times you lost your temper and yelled a bit too much?  The times you smacked a bit too hard (we’re not talking about leaving marks, just harder than "I want your attention!"), or swatted one too many times?  If they do remember those things, do they forgive us? 

          Do children remember the times you bent over backwards to get out of work early to make it to their soccer game or their recital?  Do they remember when you worked really hard to make the perfect birthday cake that ended up looking horrible but tasting divine?

           Which lingers more with children – the worst moments or the best?  Which has more weight – when you were The Worst Mommy Ever or when you were The Best Mommy Ever?

          Will Mega and Skeeter remember when I lost my temper and over-reacted…  Or will they think about the day I cheered them on in the 105 degree heat with a migraine, or when I make their super-awesome costumes for the school play? 

          I hope that when Mega and Skeeter grow up, they remember the better moments.  If they do remember my not-so-great Mommy moments, I hope they remember how much I cried and how bad I felt when things were said and done.  And I hope I had enough sense to apologize to my son(s), and that they recall that, as well.  While I know that doesn’t change my reaction or action, it may show them that I didn’t react the way I did out of malice or the desire to hurt them.  They will see that I know I made a mistake – that I can screw up and admit it.

           I hope that over the next two decades, DH and I can fill our children’s hearts with so many happy and good things that there is no room for the not-so-great things.  And what is there from the not-so-great things are only the lessons learned.

          A child’s heart is a blank slate.  You give them only the raw materials.  The child himself decides how to use them to create his great work.  I want my children to create masterpieces.