Creating Memories. Cherishing Moments. This Month’s Challenge.

Creating the Memories
Amongst the teenaged journals, the hand-written letters, the birthday cards and the long forgotten post cards there is a large pink album.  A childhood album that spans newborn to late primary school.   There are empty spaces here and there, photographs used for school projects and never returned.  Gap toothed pages echoing a primary school smile. But on the whole, it tells the story of my childhood.  It amounts to maybe a couple of photos a year but it is enough to bring the memories flooding back.

I take dozens of photos of my kids. Conservatively, there would be thousands.  But I seldom print them out. They live on my phone, my computer and social media.  I wonder, in years to come, will my boys have access to these images?  Will they have something to pore over, something to evoke long forgotten memories? Before the age of smart phones and computers, photographs were the things we saved from fires. The irreplaceable. Now we flood our immediate lives with images but how often do we think about preserving them?  What cues will my sons have as adults to help them remember their childhood? What will those memories even be?

This month, as we enter the silly season, we are looking at creating memories and cherishing moments.  The traditions, the rituals and the memories we make with and for our kids. How we create those moments. How we treasure them.  How we capture them.

My impossible young mother

When I think back on my own childhood, my memories are mostly of my mother (yes, that’s her in the photographs, ridiculously and impossibly young).  Memories of her cutting vegetables for dinner whilst watching the ABC with my sister and I after school.  I think she loved Dr Who and The Mysterious Cities of Gold* more than we did.  Memories of her taking us on adventures – she was always the mum who would happily climb a tree or sneak over a fence.  Her attitude towards the rules was (and remains) one of flexible  interpretation.  I remember her making us extraordinary things. She crafted the cast of Fraggle Rock*, including a life-size Sprocket*, out of felt and fur and the sheer magic of her imagination. She also tried to make us eat and drink extraordinary things.  She made kombucha tea back in the day, before the internet existed and could push its benefits.  I remember willing school friends to ignore the large fermenting mushrooms that had taken up residence in our fridge. She baked sugar cookies with us each Christmas and pashka each Easter. The recipes sourced from clippings and carefully copied hand-written notes, kept in a vivid red folder smudged with flour. When anything terrible happened, I remember her holding me close and tight and telling me I was loved and special and wonderful things lay in my future.  All of these memories are bound up in small daily rituals, family traditions and the doorway into memory that photographs provide.

Will my boys remember similar things? Will they look back on their childhood and consider it magical? I want that. I want it very much.

Printable-Traditions Worksheet imageEach week this month we will post a small challenge about creating memories and cherishing moments. We believe both are so important.  This week, we are thinking about the traditions we currently have in our lives and the traditions we would like to introduce. If that sounds like something you would like to do, you can download a worksheet to help you: Printable-Traditions Worksheet.  The idea is to map out the rituals and traditions that you share with your family and friends.  These things are the stuff of memories. If there are any gaps, you might like to think about bringing in some new traditions. We will have some ideas later in the month.

During November, we will be talking about how to take great photographs, how to store them and what to create from them.  We will be talking cherishing the moments, getting out from behind the screen and being truly present. We will look at why tradition is important and some suggestions on how to create new ones within your circle. We also have our very first giveaway, courtesy of the beautiful Bree Naomee Photography.  We can’t wait to share it all with you.

x Robyna

300px-FraggleRock-Sprocket*Explanation of eighties television references:
The Mysterious Cities of Gold: An eighties cartoon about the search for seven cities of gold. It mixed ancient South American history,archaeology, and science fiction and it was AWESOME.  Go on YouTube it.
Fraggle Rock: Back when Jim Henson made everything on kids TV, this show was about a group of muppets that inhabited an underground world.
Sprocket: Sprocket was one of the characters in Fraggle Rock – a large English sheep dog who was always trying to convince his eccentric owner about the existence of the Fraggles. 

What are your favourite memories from childhood? What traditions and rituals do you have that you think your children, friends and family will look back on with a smile?

10 thoughts on “Creating Memories. Cherishing Moments. This Month’s Challenge.

  1. Sarah says:

    Oh Robyna, Your post really resonates! A long time ago I had a good hard think about what I wanted most for my kids. Then I got all dark in my thinking and wondered about how things would be if I ever disappeared off the face of the earth….what would be the best thing I could leave them? It was then that I defined myself as their memory maker. Not so much in the sense of photos; I too have thousands of images stashed on hard drives which I continually put in the too-hard basket! More in the sense of experiences and basically making sure that I’m giving them a the best possible childhood I am capable of (not money based, mind you!). As the sands of time have been slipping away (eldest is about to launch off to high school next year…sob!) the hubs and I have been making way for the important stuff. This year has been our best ever family year!! We haven’t been sweating the small stuff or wondering should we, shouldn’t we? We’ve just jumped in headfirst and done stuff with them, where once we might have hesitated. We know we’ve given them a load of loving, fun, silly and more serious experiences as take-aways for them to grow with. Just last night they were throwing away skeleton costumes at the supermarket after Halloween……I grabbed five. Three of us got kitted out and waited for the others to arrive home to “scare” the wits out of them. Yep, crazy, silly, stupid, and a memory right there! Bam! A family of five crazies romping in the dark to see if those suckers glowed; they did! And we all laughed. The end. xxx
    PS Looking forward to your photo info sessions; might spur me into action!

    • Robyna says:

      That’s a wonderful memory for your kids! We did halloween in a pretty big way here and I know that my little five year old is going to remember having half the neighbour hood kids over, turning off all the lights in the rumpus, throwing glow sticks everywhere and having an impromptu “glow party”. Not the sort of thing we’d condone every niht, but the thing smiles and memories are made of. Silly fun is the best kind to have with your family. So glad that you have loads in yours

  2. Rachel_OurTownBrisbane says:

    Fraggles! Oh how I loved Fraggle Rock. Your mum was insanely clever to make them out of felt. This is a beautiful idea – I an particularly keen to get my photos OFF electronic devices and into some proper photo books. I’ll be following along for sure xx

    • Robyna says:

      She’s a very talented seamstress – these things could have been used on the show, they were that good. Getting the photos in hard copy is on our to-do list too!

  3. Planet Pav says:

    You’ve done it again Robyna! Another beautiful post 🙂

    One tradition my kids absolutely love is the sticky date pudding I bake for Christmas every year (secret recipe of course!) They were very concerned that I might stop baking this at Christmas as I no longer eat sugar or bake with it…but the tradition is too special and so I will continue to bake this treat for the family. We also go to our local Christmas Carols and fireworks every year with family friends and the teenagers still come with us. The adults even considered not going last year as the kids are all getting older now but it was the kids who insisted we go as we’ve not missed a year out of the last 13!

    I am guilty of not printing photos and but I try to at least get them off the camera and on to a USB these days as we were robbed last year and lost so many precious photos and videos still on the cameras that were stolen. The cameras have been replaced and our memories are still intact but the photos are sadly gone forever.

    What a fabulous trendsetter your mum is! Kombucha back then…and I thought it was embarrassing when I had friends over in the 80s and we were growing alfalfa sprouts on the kitchen bench!

    • Robyna says:

      I love going to carols with our family – and doing the christmas lights. I hope my boys will want to do it into teenage-hood as well. Your pudding sounds a bit delicious. Mum was crunchy before crunchy was even coined. Oh, the things we wore! Back then it was completely daggy, now it would be hipster ironic. Way before her time.

  4. Christine Knight Thomas says:

    I loved those shows too, hahaha! I’m all about creating memories too, so I really enjoyed your post. I am trying to get up to date with making photobooks of each year with the highlight images in them. I also make books for each of our holidays and for E’s birthdays in lieu of traditional albums. I love your traditions sheet! I’m going to be printing it.

    I definitely want to create wonderful memories and traditions for my daughter too. This year has been the first year she’d really “gotten” holidays, so I’ve been really enjoying making a big deal of them, which is something I will keep doing each year – things like Christmas, Halloween, birthdays, etc. I like to celebrate all the special moments in our lives.

  5. chethay2012 says:

    I was just thinking almost the same thoughts regarding photos & how they have changed from my childhood to our children now. I too have albums full of my childhood that are rich with memories, but I rarely print out photos of our days now. I decided yesterday to dedicate 2015 to printing out all our memories, something tangible that isn’t on a hard drive & requires a computer to see.

    • Robyna says:

      We have some ideas coming up on that theme! And yes, it is so very sad to think that our kids might not have the opportunity to access the thousands of images we take. And there is something so nice about flipping through an album – a bit like reading a book.

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