Monday, June 9, 2008

Sweet Sweet/The Memories You Gave to Me

Although I normally don't like to, I think it is safe to assume that each generation strives to give their children more than they had as children. There is a constant battle between time and money. We need to work to pay the bills but in the end, what matters is how much time we spend with our children not how much money we spend on them.

Like the good business owners we are, hubs and I reevaluate our business plans once a year. We do the same for our home as well. It too, is like a business; we have titles, responsibilities, and a budget,. Most importantly, we have goals; goals for ourselves, for our boys, and for our family. As things evolve, so too, must our business plan.

We had a change of plans recently. We moved from our 4500 square foot home to a smaller home with just under 3000 square feet. I was thrilled with the move for many reasons. One story to clean rather than two. The boys sleep on the same level as we do. Almost two acres for the boys to explore and play. A pool. A hot tub. Great school district. Oh yeah; a much smaller mortgage.

The smaller monthly payment affords me the privilege of working from home. I get to spend as much time with my boys as they can tolerate. It is not always sunshine and lollipops, but the majority of the time I wouldn't change a thing. I know how lucky I am.

My parents split when I was eight, so my sister and I were raised by a single mother that struggled to make ends meet. Although my mom was not able to stay home with us, I have fond childhood memories. We lived in a suburb of Kansas City and spent many evenings with my grandparents. As I grew up they were like a second set of parents to me. My mom made every effort to make our house the place to be. Her goal was to have me and my sister and our friends have a fun and safe place to hang out. Not only was it the place to be, many times I found friends there when I came home from school or work. My mom was the mom that kids talked to about stuff they were too nervous to say to their parents.

Growing up in the city did not offer me many opportunities to explore the woods but I spent most of my time outside. This was back when you could ride your bike a few houses down tot play and your mom would whistle when it was time for dinner. I remember going on walks to the nearest park with my friends. The park was about a mile away; not sure if I would let my grade school boys do that.

We had a pool in our backyard so summers were wet. I find myself thinking of my mom often as I realize at bedtime, that I am still in my swimsuit. Mom lived in her swimsuit. She would put it on as soon as she could and was in it while she laid us in bed. To the dismay to some neighbors and the pleasure of others, she even wore her swimsuit to do yard work.

As I watch hubs teach Little Man to swim I think of my father. Dad taught me to swim in our pool and would be happy to know hubs is using the same tried and true techniques that made me the fish I am today. Now, if we could only get Little Man to open his eyes when he closes his mouth. I told him to keep his mouth closed so he doesn't drink the water and not only does he shut his mouth but can't seem do to so without the eyes going too. Can't get very far like that.

The best thing about our new house is what I consider my favorite summer memory. I can smell it a half a mile away from our house. I roll down my car window when I turn on our street and the aroma hits me and the summer memories begin to flow. Swimming the the back yard. Swinging in the neighbors yard. Picking strawberries in the backyard. Picking the grapes from the vines in the arbor. Riding my bike. The smell of Coppertone.

This sweet smelling vine lined our fence line and I would eat the sweet nectar as often as I could. There is an art to eating honeysuckle and I have now passed this tradition onto my boys.

Moving to the new house has provided us the opportunity to change our lifestyle. We are getting back to the basics, and if that means my boys get to have memories like mine, who could want more?


Sogeshirtsguy said...

That is awesome that you value your children more than making money. The memories with your children will be much more valuable.

The Rev. said...

Beautiful memories beautifully written-

Though I have no children and thus can't relate to you on that note, I cherish similar memories of my childhood: swimming in our family pool from sunrise to sunset every day during the summer, making sure to invite every child from the neighborhood over to enjoy. It's odd (and sometimes quite saddening) to realize how much you took for granted at that age.

We can only hope our parents knew how much we truly loved and appreciated them.

Putz said...

agreed with every thing you said

Putz said...

ummmmm strawberries, fresh, swimming....that was a blessing, i never got to maybe i was deprived....but i am sure the family thing was tough

Tara R. said...

Congrats on the move and building such wonderful memories with your own children.

jennifer, playgroups are no place for children said...

That is really awesome. So many times people just want more, more, more. Good for you for seeing what's really important in life and going after it.

Kimmylyn said...

This post attacked all my senses.. It made me feel like I was standing outside.. beautiful.. simply beautiful.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

It sounds heavenly!

Gareth said...

nice memories...

working from home, to look after my daughter sounds great idea, and have smaller mortgage payments.
great blog !

Amy said...

Wow - your new home still sounds pretty big! I agree - its awesome to be home. We have sacrificed a lot for me to be home but I am grateful. The extra things can come later on! Great post.