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What Will They Remember?

May 18, 2012

We are one of those families. Perhaps you are, too. You know … the kind of family who has a stack of magazines in the bathroom. A stack like the Leaning Tower of Pisa! In our throne room, it’s all periodicals on golf—Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, Edwin Watts Golf sales flyer. So after years of trying to gracefully slip in, do my (ahem) business, and slip out without disturbing the “tower,” I’ve finally given in to reading my husband’s magazines, too.

I know, I know … but hey, sometimes it’s the only two minutes of quiet reading that I get during the day. And I’ve actually learned a lot, such as how Phil Mickelson (one of our family faves) received a birthday gift of a dinosaur head and a Christmas gift of a 300-pound Meteorite from his wife, Amy. Or why the entire golfing community was irked at Hank Haney for disclosing all his secrets about Tiger Woods in a recent tell-all book.

Unfortunately, this week, the headline that jumped off the page at me as I scooted around the growing pile was shocking. It read: “I can never recall my mother giving me a hug” (Golf Digest, June 2012, page 170).

What? I snatched up the magazine. I had to know the context from which this pull quote came. It was an article about Billy Casper, who triumphed through a difficult upbringing to win three majors. One of the main points within this short 3-page article was the remembrance of a mother never hugging her son. Never. This was this man’s memory of his mama. This was the legacy his mother left him.

I hope that is something you can never imagine. I surely can’t. Never hugging your child seems unthinkable! But it does bring this question to mind: What will your child remember about you?

That you worried more about how immaculate your house was than
creating a loving home for your family?

That you spent more time with the duties of daily life than
embracing the moments that matter?

That you spent more time on your computer, iPhone, or iPad than you did reading books, baking cookies, or playing Candyland with your kids?

That you worked harder to receive accolades from your boss, your peers, or your community than you did to receive an “I love you, mama.”

I’m not suggesting that we create a child-centered home. Your home and your heart should always be Christ-centered. When your eyes are on Jesus, He will shape the spouse, parent, friend, and employee that He needs you to be.

I am suggesting, however, that we all think about how you will be remembered by your children. What legacy are you leaving them?

My fear is that my children will remember all the times (and believe me, there are many of them) that I typed furiously on my computer, saying “Just a minute … one more minute … Mommy has to finish this … just one more sentence … ”

However, even though I’ve missed many opportunities for Candyland games, playing “house,” and baking cookies with my patient and understanding kiddos, my youngest daughter often tells me I’m the best mommy in the world! (Ironically, it mostly happens after she has been disciplined or gently scolded.)But one day, I asked both my kids WHY they think I’m the best mommy ever.

They took a moment to think about it, raised up their heads to look straight into my eyes, and said: “Because you give us lots of hugs and kisses!”

Whew. It was more of an answer than I could ever ask for. Although I’m sure they remember the many times I chose to work over embracing moments with them, my love for them still overrides any mistakes I’ve made. One day my kids will shoo away my kisses, shrug off my hugs, and ignore my whispers of “I love you.” But deep down, they will remember that I never stopped hugging, kissing, and loving them.

More than a clean house, a nice car, designer clothes, a best-selling novel, or a successful business, I want to be remembered for loving my family.

What will your kids remember about you?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2012 6:26 am

    Great post, Christi. Definitely something I needed to be reminded of!

  2. Ashley Kerth permalink
    May 18, 2012 7:22 am

    Christi~ So true… I know I can get so caught up in the things that do not matter instead of focusing on the things to do. You have written another wonderful post! Love.

  3. May 19, 2012 9:30 am

    I just stumbled across your blog through someone’s blogroll and I had to say I LOVE this post. Really I do. I’m afraid my kids are going to remember I have a temper. We always talk about it after I get angry and I’m quick to admit I’m not perfect and ask for forgiveness. Still I wish I wasn’t so quick tempered and “feisty”. I’ve been this way since I was a small child. On a positive note I know my kids will remember LOTS of hugs, kisses, and cuddling. I homeschool them and right now we are taking two years to travel the country in an RV to learn about American (and life) so they won’t be able to say I didn’t spend any time for them. I think as long as we are quick to confess our shortcomings to them and ask for forgiveness the memories will be mostly positive. One of my biggest prayers is asking God to fill in the gaps because I know I’m leaving them.

    • May 21, 2012 8:31 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I am the same–I have a temper, too! And guess what Sunday’s sermon was on at our church? Yep, the James passage about being “slow to get angry.” It’s so hard, but I am confident in God’s grace and that every day is a new day! On another note … I LOVE your website! How amazing that you are touring the country for 2 years in an RV–I love it! That will be something your kids will remember forever! And you are so right … God will fill in the gaps because we all leave them because we are all human. Only HE can fill in those gaps. You’ve encouraged me–thank you so much! 🙂

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