Cara is a stay-at-home, sometimes work-at-home mom to one feisty 18 month old girl. In between potty-training and walking the dogs, this one-time actress turned mommy-preneur loves to write down the fun tidbits from her unexpected, glorious, messy mama life. This is Cara’s third semester at Gbc MOPS. She also writes over at http://carathecrunchyconservative.blogspot.com/?m=1
It was released yesterday! The iconic animated movie that influenced so much of my childhood came out of the “vault” just in time for my 31st birthday. Disney’s The Little Mermaid, I suspect, was cause for many mermaid parties in neighborhood pools and countless wishes for long, flowing, red locks. I still remember comparing the “mermaid-ness” of my hair with my best friend in her backyard pool…which of course meant, does it become wavy in water? This film made such an impact on my life that I can trace my pre-baby career choice back to the very first time I watched it in the back room of my grandma’s house with my cousins. To say I am excited for its release would be an understatement!
Today I will trek to Target with 18 month old C in tow to pick up our copy of The Little Mermaid so that I may introduce her to the magic. This got me thinking about how so much of the happiness I find in raising this spunky kid is in how she reacts to and interprets cherished items from MY childhood. I think sharing memorable experiences and awe-inspiring memories, even with my toddler, creates a bond between the two of us that is unique among mother-daughter relationships. She may not adore The Little Mermaid that way I did, but sharing my excitement and enthusiasm for the film not only gives her an insight into what was important to me as a child, but also gives her a glimpse into the fact that that child still lives in me.
Last night we returned home from a two week long trip to Colorado, where I spent many summers of my youth. To see my daughter’s face light up as she hiked (or rode in the backpack) up giant mountains made my heart sing. We rode four-wheelers, fed chipmunks and petted ponies. We lounged lazily and even had the opportunity to play in snow…in September! All of these experiences brought to the surface such fond memories for me, just as they were creating new memories for my little family. My parents, C’s “poppy” and “nanny”, met us at the cabin for a week of our vacation. The joy this kid brings to my once strict dad proves to me Proverbs 17:6!
As I watched C roll around on the floor wrestling with her poppy, I realized that her memories are being made now. The memories she will share with her babies are being influenced even before she may be cognizant of the fact. It is so much more imperative for me then, to live how I would hope she would live and teach her children to live. As her mother, I take to heart Deuteronomy 6:7: “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” I am definitely not always successful…mostly when she is fighting naptime or throwing a home-cooked meal all over the new wood floors…but I try. Hopefully, when she is sharing the joy she found in Bubble Guppies and Sophia the First with her babies someday, the way I will share The Little Mermaid today, she will also remember how I shared my love for the Lord. How despite my imperfections, my adoration for her was a reflection of Christ’s sacrifice for her and she will perpetuate that agape love on the next generation. After all, in this way, I will always be a part of her world.
We want to hear from you, too! What do you hope to pass on to your children? What traditions or memories do you think will be most significant to them when they are raising children of their own?