It happens sometimes, when I'm doing something, like muttering "f#ckit" when I'm frustrated, saying "aaaaargh" under my breath when I'm impatient, pouring a glass of wine at the end of the day, or reaching for another [and another] piece of chocolate, that I hear a voice inside my head saying, "they're watching, they're listening, they're remembering..."
Now I can't remember anything at all about being one year old. I do remember bits and pieces of being almost-five-years old though.
These are the things I want my daughters to remember, when they think back on their childhood one day:
~ All the millions of hugs and kisses they get every day
~ How I tell them that they are beautiful every day
~ How I just stop and stare at them in awe and tell them they are wonderful
~ That we love to laugh and laugh and laugh
~ That their daddy and I love to hug and kiss each other and hold hands and sit close to each other
~ Reading books together, lots and lots of books, over and over again
~ That their daddy and I talk nicely to each other
~ That we relish special family time together
~ That we eat supper together at the table every night
~ How we put the music real loud and dance together and sing together
~ Picnics and tea parties
~ Movie nights in our pajamas
~ Special family holidays
~ Special times with Granny and Oupa, and Oumi and Oupi
~ Singing in the car
~ Morning snuggles and cuddles
~ Bedtime stories
~ Candlelit baths
~ That birthdays are special
~ How I tell them to just be themselves, because they're perfect just the way they are
~ How we tell them to be kind, honest and gentle
~ That we respect people, and pets, and belongings
~ Soft kisses on cheeks
~ Afternoon naps together
~ How much smiles and kind words mean
~ Asking them to choose what they would like to do that's lots of fun for them
~ Saying yes to random requests like "can we paint now" or "can we bake cookies now"
~ That friends are important but family comes first
~ That if anything ever makes them feel uncomfortable, they must just walk away
~ How we value communication
What wonderful memories we're trying to make for our two special girls... Yet, how many times do I get it wrong, when I spend too much time looking at my phone, or when I tell them to "hang on, I just need to reply one email", or when I look at them with a look of frustration, or speak to them in too harsh a tone of voice... And they remember those moments too...
Let's just hope that the good times override the bad!