What Childhood Memory has Influenced You Most?

What Childhood Memory has Influenced You Most?

Guest Author today, Ken Wert! You’ve seen Ken around Life, for instance and I’m sure you’ve appreciated, as I have, his thoughtful comments. He has a wonderful blog, MeantToBeHappy.com that I’m sure you will want to visit after reading today’s article! Take it away Ken!

“Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love,
the things you are,
the things you never want to lose.”
~ Kevin Arnold

Memory can be a great source of joy as we recall first dates, first kisses, the cookies grandma baked on weekends, visits to the park, playing catch with dad.

There are also childhood memories that are deeply meaningful. They help guide and shape us. They act to establish little benchmarks of encouragement and motivation, or instruction, strength, and comfort along our paths in life. We keep them close and refer back to them from time to time to help us as the road gets steep.

One of my most cherished memories is of my mom keeping me home from school, playing hooky with her, really.

But first, some background: I have two brothers, both close in age. We were all pretty wild as kids and competed with each other for her attention to the point that she could never sit down with any one of us for any length of time before the other two started acting up (usually ending in one laughing and the other crying).

Our education was always important to her, but she felt one-on-one time with her sons was even more important. So my mom decided to keep one of us home on a rotating basis every month to have a solid day of one-on-one with us, eating at a favorite restaurant, playing at the park, or just hanging out together at home. I cherish those memories.

But more importantly, it laid an invaluable foundation upon which my life has been largely built.

So what did I learn from my mom in her role as accomplice to ditching school? It sent the message loud and clear that I was loved. I was valuable. I mattered. My mom actually wanted to spend a day with me. That meant the world to me. That message sank deep into my heart and stayed there.

It has continued to influence me even today in at least 3 different ways:

1. We continued the practice with my daughter and will do the same with my son.

2. I realized the importance of sending that message to my own children. I do it in many different ways. It has made me a better dad.

3. It reinforced the idea that people are more important than things or events or systems. Education is important. I was even more important.

What childhood memory serves as encouragement, motivation or comfort along your path? What memory has helped shape the person you are? What lessons did you learn from that experience and how has it shown up in your life since?

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