My parents were very conservative and raised both my brother and myself to be very aware of finances and learn what necessities are opposed to a frivolous purchase. I thank them for that in this economy.
My children aren’t as aware of the economic hardships parents are enduring and can’t understand that the toy, special shampoo, or extra cereal at the grocery just isn’t in the budget.
I’ve always tried to reward all 3 of my children when they do something good that warranted praise and haven’t been able to in a while except for a simple “good job kiddo”. That doesn’t seem to have the same effect as a new bunch of head bands or temporary tattoos.
All of the kids were home on a weekend (which is rare) and I decided to surprise them for one of my Mom’s famous “Pajama Rides”. This is where we were woken up with banging pots and pans with wooden spoons to take a ride in the car in our pajama’s to ride out the other end of town for a root beer float or to the drive in movies. It was always something so extraordinary because of my mom, who always went over the top. It was all very exciting when you are little.
I hadn’t done one since my son (who is now 3) had been born so I decided to break him in!
I banged on the first pan with my spoon and my 17 year old came to attention at her door and looked at me the way she used to when she was little. My 15 year old was more pleased to share this with her little brother than the adventure itself. I had a cooler packed with ice cream, bowls, spoons and sprinkles that was sure to please! We all piled into the car and headed to EP Tom Sawyer Park where I threw a blanket in the grass and started to fix our treats. I had approval giggles and smiles across the board. We star gazed for a long while before the little one noticed that I had disturbed his sleep and started yawning. All of the kids hugged me tighter than usual and thanked me for a memory that they will have.
It just goes to show that with a little imagination we can all make lasting memories and show our kids how much we love them without all the “stuff” that money can buy.