The bargain hunter and lover-of-all-things-vintage in me wanted to snatch a few of them up. But the practical side of me couldn't come up with a use for them so I did what any reasonable person would do...I walked around the store until I thought of something. And that 'something', I have to say was a stroke of genius. So I hurried back over to the boxes and carefully selected four boxes (one for each of my kids) in which I was going to place the treasured memories of their childhood.
Inside each box I placed the outfit they had worn home from the hospital, their baby book, other mementos of their infancy, their favorite story book, first tooth, first drawings and special school papers and awards, their first Sunday school papers, a favorite childhood sleeping companion, and a few other choice items. I also attached notes to most of the items explaining their sentiment.
The last thing to go into the box was a letter from me recounting the memorable things they had said and done-things that only a mother remembers. I cannot begin to tell you the joy I had in putting these treasure boxes together! It was like living each of their lives all over again. I admit there were plenty of tears shed as I gently folded each baby garment, read each paper, and recorded their memorable moments-but they were happy tears.
A few months later, on Christmas morning, as we all gathered around the tree, everyone was curious about the 'treasure boxes' I had placed behind all the other gifts. I hadn’t bothered wrapping or labeling them-I knew who they belonged to. It wasn’t easy, but I patiently waited until after all the other gifts had been opened before I presented each of my children with their box.
Emma was ten at the time. She enjoyed looking through it, but it wasn't until a few years later that she really understood and appreciated the significance of the gift. And since she was so young, I added to the box over the next several years.
Elizabeth and Olivia, who were nineteen and seventeen, had a great time looking through their boxes and remembering some of the events represented inside. They couldn’t believe I’d kept some of things that, to them, seemed so insignificant. They were pleased that I had, though, and I knew they appreciated the love that had gone into their boxes.
And then there was Zach...my (then) twenty-two year old son, Zachery, was the one who really ‘got it’. After reading the letter I had placed on top of his things, he became totally lost in what was inside. For the next two to three hours, he gently took each item out of the box, one at a time and read each note carefully. With his new bride sitting next to him, he related the history behind each one. I saw him laugh, I saw tears in his eyes, and I saw a look of joy that comes from recalling those things that are most dear to our hearts. Then after carefully replacing each item, he wrapped his arms around me, and through tears he wasn’t ashamed of crying, he thanked me for being the kind of mother who loved so deeply and cared so much. He said the box was the most special gift he had received. And friends, let me tell you; that was one of the best gifts I have ever received!
Passing on the memories of your children’s lives-through your eyes-is one of the most valuable gifts you can give them. Doing so tells them that as their mother, you love them unconditionally; through all things, in spite of all things, and not because of anything they do, but just because they are a part of you.
Copyright 2017 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase a copy of "Love, Momma D", 20% of the price will be donated to families of terminally ill children to enable them to purchase necessary equipment not covered by health insurance.