It’s no secret that I’ve appointed myself the Family Memory Keeper for my little unit of four. One of my favorite tasks as a mom, wife, and family member, is preserving and keeping our family memories. I love to research options for the best way to showcase our adventures and travels, and even those memories that seem small and everyday now, but that I know will mean more to me than anything just a few years down the road – the little footprints from Nugget’s first Valentine’s Day, for instance, or the first picture Peanut drew of me (I was shaped like a lima bean).
There are certain memory-preserving techniques that I return to over and over again. My beloved Shutterfly books, for instance – I keep a running list of works in progress and books I want to make. (Right now I’m working on Nugget’s first year book and a family yearbook for 2005-07.) And my gallery wall – I don’t have one at the moment, but I can’t wait to hang it back up in our next place, whenever and wherever that happens to be, and one of my first items of business will be to update the snaps in there with another order from Social Print Studio. And then there are the meaningful souvenirs I bring back from our travels – everything from a new original art piece to a handful of perfectly formed seashells. Seeking out those things, and deciding how best to display them to make our home a really personal showplace for our family culture, gives me such joy.
But while I love my memory-keeping and memory-preserving duties, there’s a time of year that I inevitably find myself taking a step back from preserving, and turning my attention to doing. Because after all, you have to create the memories you are going to preserve. For me, summer is the season of doing.
Don’t get me wrong – we make memories all year round. Picking apples and pumpkins in the fall, hiking through snow-sprinkled forests on crisp winter days, listening for the first birdcalls of spring… And I don’t take summer entirely off from memory-keeping tasks, either. I blog our adventures all year, and I always have Shutterfly projects on the go – at least a few. But I’m much less likely to be sitting before my computer, working up a big family album, or dreaming of new memory-keeping projects, during the summer months.
No, in summer I want to be out and about. I want to be doing things all day – running, hiking, kayaking, splashing with my kids in the community pool, roasting marshmallows over a bonfire on the beach. I want to stop browsing TripAdvisor and actually go on a trip. I want to fill up my camera roll with pictures of hot sunny days that I know will warm me up when the skies start to darken and the chilly autumn rains begin to fall.
In order to keep memories, we have to make them. Summer’s a good time for doing that. It’s the season for doing.
Do you have a season when you take a step back from memory-keeping, and focus on making memories?