Engaging All the Senses for a Lasting Effect (Day 17)

Growing up, we are shaped and molded by our interaction with family, friends, and peers.  We become the adults we do because of our experiences, beginning from infancy.  Perhaps the most subconscious retention of experiences can be found through our senses – I have read somewhere the sense of smell contains the most powerful memory, which is why aroma therapy has such a high success rate.

The word for today:


Last week, my son asked me why we didn’t have any Halloween decorations out.  The simple answer was because my husband and I never understood spending money on something that will only be used annually, and then packed away for the other eleven months of the year.  I didn’t tell my son that reason; instead, I just said we didn’t own any.  My son then rather pitifully asked, “Can we go to the store, and put up decorations?”

So, this year, our house is decorated.

Our son was given free-reign to choose which decorations for our house.
This spider was a birthday gift from our son to my husband, for my husband’s birthday over a month ago!  I suspect our son was planning decorating for a while…

The more I thought about decorations and the upcoming holidays, the more I have spent time recalling memories of my childhood.  Even holding and cuddling the sick littlest one of the house, I am having memories of what sick days used to be like for me as a kid.

Memories shape who we are and who we become.  They give us our basic internal dialogue and framework through which we view life and its curveballs.  Memories have the ability to hinder our functioning as adults, or help us thrive as we age.  Even our mere perception that makes it into the memory will have an effect on us.

Knowing the power that is behind memories makes the task of the holidays more important.

It makes my vocation as a mother more serious.  

As one of the adults in the home, I am in charge of helping create memories which will shape and mold my children’s lives!

Therefore, perhaps before the holiday season fully kicks into high gear, I should figure out what kind of memories I want to help create for my children.

Allowing my son to live his imagination to the fullest, treating him to meals out, and giving him the green light to be himself are among my top memory-making priorities!

I know I want them to have memories of fun and laughter, memories of great food, memories of family-togetherness.

But, I know I also want them to have memories of Mom and Dad being human.  Instead of ensuring everything is decked out perfectly, or the food turns out exquisitely, I want them to have memories of the creation being created, rather than the end product.

Because it’s during the creative process through which most of the senses are  engaged.  

I am taking stock of the memories I want to create for, and with, my children – I want them to remember a mom who was less concerned with the end result, and more concerned with the making of the memories.

What memories do you cherish from your childhood?

What memories do you hope to pass along to your children?

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7 thoughts on “Engaging All the Senses for a Lasting Effect (Day 17)

  1. My fondest memories and pictures are of you kids as little ones, decorating hundreds of cookies the way you wanted. So many colors of frostings and decos. I love those days, and miss them with you. Mom

  2. I like the memories of playing with my siblings– completely unstructured, imaginative play.

    I read this idea somewhere on the internets a couple weeks ago, and post-it-noted it on my kitchen cabinets (so you know it’s serious).

    “I want to create a life my kids want to come home to.”

    Memories and traditions play into that so much! I want my kids to *want* to spend time in our home as they get older.

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