My daughter stood on home plate at Citi Field over the weekend. She was one of the special kids to take advantage of the New York Mets’ new push to give kids more out of their baseball game experience. She ran the bases in an actual Major League Baseball stadium as a member of the team’s Mr. Met’s Kids Club.
As her parents, my husband and I got to do the same. It was, in a word, exhilarating.
We were on the field of an ACTUAL MLB stadium. We were running where just minutes prior the likes of Daniel Murphy and David Wright were standing.
It’s an experience my husband and I will likely never forget as baseball fans.
But what about my 8-year-old? Will she remember the awe of standing where greatness has stood? Will she recall – at 28, 38, 48 – that she did what few kids have done?
I took photos. OF COURSE I took photos. There’s a great shot sitting on my camera of her standing on home plate that I will likely print out and frame because that’s what you do with photos of your children doing amazing things.
The photo is sure to remind her of a day that was special, a day when she got to experience something out-of-the-ordinary. But what will she remember, exactly?
Will she vaguely recall that one spring day her parents got her up at the crack of dawn and drove her two hours to Queens?
Or will it be the savory taste of a Nathan’s hot dog on her tongue and the sweetness of the Cracker Jack that comes to mind? Perhaps the sting of the sunburn because (oops, bad Mommy) we forgot the sunblock in the car?
Will the smell of the dirt on the diamond return to her nostrils? The slap of her sneakers on third ring in her ears?
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We try, as parents, to enrich our kids’ childhoods, to give them experiences and opportunities. But always in the back of our minds is the question: will they remember? Is a childhood “memory” being made, or will this fade away, slowly being absorbed into the same black hole that swallows random baby socks and errant homework papers?
It’s hard not to think this way, not to worry that our 18 fleeting years with our kids will be whittled down to just five or six choice remembrances, including that one time they fell off the scooter and busted their elbow and how. We mothers are a neurotic lot; I’ll be the first to admit it.
But we need to give ourselves a little more credit.
Because while our children may not remember every kiss and every hug, every out-of-this-world experience and every “it took six hours to make this” birthday cake, we will.
We are the keepers of the memories, the ones who drive our kids to theme parks and take the photos of them in baseball stadiums.
And so long as we can remember that it happened, we can take heart in knowing were giving them the childhood they deserve.
What memories do you worry your kids will lose as they grow older?
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Disclaimer: I received free tickets to the Mets game; however all opinions expressed in this post are 100 percent my own.