When I was a child, the Fourth of July was a magnificent event. We spent the Holiday on a lake enjoying a huge BBQ complete with a band and capped off with a bonfire at night. I looked forward to the Fourth all year. While playing in that crisp lake, everything was perfect. During the day, when I got thirsty, someone handed me a glass of chilled juice. If I was hot, there was always an umbrella to hide under for shade. If I was hungry, I picked from plenty of treats that seemed to never run out. Everything was carefree, as if the event was just tossed together overnight. As a child, I embraced the memory and never thought twice about the “beyond the scenes” efforts taking place to create the magic around me.
Today, at 31, I’m the “memory maker”. The responsibility of “putting it all together” falls upon me. I finally see the intense efforts that go into Holidays, events, and occasions. It finally dawned on me while preparing for our beach trip and hauling myself through Target with a list the size of Rhode Island, that making an event feel flawless, takes work. Coolers need ice. Ice needs a cooler. Kids need snacks. Sun requires sunscreen. Rental places don’t always come with sheets, and umbrellas are harder to keep upright than a toddler throwing a tantrum.
Ever see photos of a family on a beach smiling down at the waves with peaceful, relaxed looks on their faces. It’s a lie. I can look beyond those pics. They ARE having a blast, but one week prior that mom was creating packing lists, planning meals, and paying bills that were due before their vacation ended.
Smarties, effortless takes effort. And yes, upon arriving at the beach I’m sure things are blissful. But, it takes work to concoct those flawless digital images. You and I both know it, and secretly, I love it. Why? Because creating memories for my family is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Watching my child play in the sand comfortably covered in sunscreen, makes me grin. Tossing my husband a “cold one” chilled to perfection makes me smitten. Handing out everyones favorite sandwiches for a picnic in the sand is lovely. All the planning, all the packing, all lugging things around, are worth it for the joy that I see in the moment.
And what is being a mom all about? Joy, happiness, love and memorable moments filled with fun. I’m proud to consider myself a “memory maker”. I know I will look back at our family photos with the same nostalgia my children will secretly remembering all the energy that it took to create those beautiful smiles.