Memory Jars

Monday, January 10, 2011

We made our memory jars today with a simple jar and a picture of each of the kids - they are now ready to be filled with memorabilia. The kids are super excited by the idea and eager to start. I have no doubt they with be filled with all sorts of "treasures". My hope is that they will be able to look back at each years jar and see what they looked like and remember some of the fun times we shared together.

Noelle was able to put her first thing in her jar. Darren and I surprised Noelle on Saturday night by taking her out to see "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" in 3D at the movie theater in Victoria.
It has been a family tradition of ours to read a book together and then to see the movie. It began with Noelle and I reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory together when she was 4. A tradition that has grown to include many books and all the other children. Although this is a book that we all enjoyed I didn't think that this movie would be appropriate for the younger ones yet.
It is kind of exciting and scary all at the same time to have a child that is growing up into a lovely young lady. I often think of her as a little girl. She is not anymore. I need to start treating her as the young lady she is becoming. I need to let her grow up and quit holding her back. She needs to be allowed experiences that are age appropriate for her and not be limited to what the youngest of her brothers and sisters are ready for. And yet I feel the need to hold back the younger ones a bit and not let them grow up to fast just because they have older siblings. This is a delicate balance and I have at times had to change course in the middle of a book or movie that wasn't what I felt my little ones needed yet. Their time will come, all too soon. As for Noelle - her time is here, and she is ready to start spreading her wings and be given the room to grow, while still safe within arms reach. There is a time to shelter and then there comes the day when guidance is the more appropriate term. My job with Noelle is changing. I need to stop lumping them together and allow room and experiences for each child in each stage. I fear my little ones growing up and leaving home. A part of me wants them to stay small for longer than they will. I am realizing that I cannot change the time I have been given with them. I cannot, no matter how I would try, extend the years. It would be selfish to do so. I have the time I have, and I need to learn to cherish each new stage. I need to losen my grip. I need to give them wings and teach them to fly. If I fail to do so, I will crush the person they are meant to be. So although I may be able to preserve their pictures and some tokens in a glass jar, I cannot do the same with them. This is the pattern that all children follow. Children grow and mothers mourn. In children we can watch this change take place. Besides a few grey hairs and a few more wrinkles the change in mothers is much less obvious - for it happens on the inside. Through trials we become stronger. Through pain we become softer. Through the years we become wiser. This is the way it was meant to be. These are the things I saw through 3D glasses.

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