Childhood memories

I was peering out the window when I saw a neighbour going out with her daughter. For a split second my thoughts went back to my own childhood with my parents, and I wondered whether my neighbour would accomplish great things with her child, where my parents had failed.

I understand why my thoughts went back there. We may sometimes stop to question whether our parents got things right, and then use those comparisons to quantify where we are. Or maybe it has something to do with my less than perfect childhood.

We innately learn our behaviour from our parents, but it’s usually only when we stop to question what we know that we change what we didn’t like, or what didn’t work. How many of us at some point with our children may say, my mother said that, or you hear yourself repeating your mother’s words, and say, “I’m turning into my mother.” And then realise what we’re doing.

Sometimes it’s not a bad thing, but it’s not always a good thing.  It means we must work harder at finding a place with our own children so that we rewrite history for ourselves, instead of repeating our parents’ history. It’s part of our own healing.

I also think it’s very hard to get everything right and it’s something we may not achieve, but if our children can see that we have done our best and that our best is good enough, then we will have achieved greatly.

Being a parent myself, I believe it’s very important for us to make a positive mark with our children. What we leave behind will stay with them for many years, long after we’re gone. It will also give them a positive slant on their own lives as they go out into the world.

It’s important for us to get it right because it’s right to get it right, and also so that when we’re no longer around, their memories of us are positive ones.

9 Jan, 2011

6 thoughts on “Childhood memories

  1. I loved my childhood even though my parents were poor, I felt as we were the richest family in the world. Every day things changed and I guess growing up on our farm, the country lifestyle was our treasure.

    There is something precious about our childhood memories Ilana …

    1. Mike you hit the nail on the head, because although your parents were poor, you weren’t made to feel that you were. Your childhood memories sounds idyllic, something any child would love to have. I know my children would.

      It captures the imagination, freedom, tranquility, but most of all peace. I am pleased for you that you were lucky enough to have it. Your parents clearly got that right. Just wonderful.

  2. I grew up in an average American family and have fond memories from my childhood, mainly how much my mother and her family impressed on us how important family are.

    We still have a close family. All my cousins, aunts and uncles on my mother’s side, get together at least twice a year. My dad’s family was close too, just not as close as my mom’s family… and my sister and I are close.

    My daughter has fond memories of her childhood also, but she also remembers the bad times that I tried to shield her from, but not always successful in that regard. That’s one of the reasons I divorced her father, because of the fights and shouting and breaking things. Unfortunately she remembers those times.

    I also think she learned from those bad times as how not to live. She is a strong woman and doesn’t put up with it from her boyfriend and others.

    Yeah, I love those memories. They are good times even though I had medical problems and my parents worried about me too much they included me in everything especially family.

    1. Lisa, many thanks for talking about your childhood memories. Families should be the most important people in our lives, but for some the realities are so different.

      It is really lovely to read your positive thoughts on how your parents got that so right. These values will stay with you forever. So glad you have these memories.

  3. It is funny that you would write about this subject. I too find myself thinking the same thing when I see a mother and child.

    I have very fond childhood memories and hope that my son has the same of his childhood memories with us.

    1. I am pleased you had fond childhood memories Maria. It certainly helps us in our adult lives. I hope your son has fond childhood memories too.

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