The summer of 1978, my family and I loaded in the custom van for a road trip “out West.” Our first stop was a dude ranch. Each day we lived like cowboys sleeping in a cabin and riding horses for hours. The experience was awesome! After three days, our city bodies could take no more. We were sore, everywhere! The ranchers suggested relaxing in a natural hot spring nearby. We headed over about dusk. By the time we left, I was covered in over 100 mosquito bites. Yes, 100. We counted as we dabbed the Calamine lotion. This trip holds some of my best and worst memories, side by side.
Think back to your childhood. What do you remember? Chances are you remember one of two types of memories. One memory may be a time or event in your life that was really great, like an accomplishment or a positive experience. The other could be a negative experience, a disappointment, hurt or even a series of unfortunate circumstances. Most likely, when you thought about your childhood it was not just a typical day with no positive or negative emotion attached to it that came to mind. We tend to remember the highs and lows.
Recently, we had dinner with some friends who shared stories from their motorcycle and camping adventure from the weekend before. They laughed as they shared stories of all the things that went wrong! We laughed together and decided, the misfortunes, the missteps and the challenges they overcame were the Memory Makers.
As parents, we know we can’t always control whether something will be a positive or negative experience. Life is messy and full of challenges. We don’t choose many of the challenges we face, but we do choose our attitude. With summer arriving and busy activities with kids, bring a sense of humor and a smile to the scene when something goes wrong. Remember, it’s a Memory Maker. Take a picture if you can!
A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
By Heather Larson, M.A.
Wife to Peter, mom of three
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member
Associate Director of 10 Great Dates
Coauthor of 10 Great Dates, Great Dates Connection,
and $10 Great Dates