Years ago when I was a child, maybe 7 years old or so, I went to a nearby park with my parents and sisters. We played in the grass, sat on the see-saw, held on tight to the merry-go-round as it furiously went round and round. After an evening of play, we nibbled on cold, sweet golas (shaved ice). It was a wonderful day – something I will always treasure. Without knowing, my parents had created a special memory for me. A refreshing spring that I could go to on any day; wet my fingers, splash the water onto my face and close my eyes as I let myself remember.
As a parent, I often think of how an everyday action, a word, a gesture of mine may somehow make its way into the consciousness of my children. I know we can’t be perfect all the time but it doesn’t harm to periodically remember this. Who knows what our children may pick up on and carry around as a memory. An ordinary event might just become special.
Mother- Son Date
Last year, when my son turned 4, we had a special day. He didn’t go to his pre-school that day. Instead, we drove to the train station. We bought 2 tickets to cover 4 stations on the Caltrain and stood on the platform, enjoying the sun and watching the trains being hauled in and out. We caught our train and sat inside, making sure we had a window seat to watch the little houses, bikers, cars whizz by.
Then, we got down at our station and walked to a restaurant. There we sat – mother and son – looking through the menu and asking each other what we might like to eat. The guests at the other table looked at us and smiled. The waiter took extra care to bring my son ice cold water in a closed container with a lid and a straw. We waited patiently for our food and enthusiastically tried everything we both had ordered. The hummus was fresh. The bread soft and warm. The sweet potato fries was, of course, our favorite.
Then we took a walk around downtown. We looked for a fish store but learned it had been converted to a candy and knick-knack store for children. Of course, we had to buy some candy while we were in there. Then, as we sauntered around we found ourselves at a little toy shop. Though the intention was to just browse around, we ended up buying a long blue train. After all, it was the little man’s birthday. We even got a fancy pencil with a spring-mounted tiny figurine attached to it as a gift from the shopkeeper.
We went to what used to be my favorite coffee shop and ordered some hot chocolate. Finally, we made our way back to the station. We settled in our seats and gazed out of the window and watched the houses, bikes, and cars whizzed by again.
A Special Day
It must have made an impression on my son because every so often he will look at me with dreamy eyes and ask, “Mamma, when can we do a special day again?”
Sometimes ,we go to the park or the library and at other times, we try a new restaurant. It is a tradition now. Not too often, else it wouldn’t be special. But not too rare that we might forget how much we both love it. A special day.
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