Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Anticipation, Participation, and Recollection

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the kitchen cleaning, emptying the dishwasher, loading the dishwasher, going through that pile of papers that never seems to disappear from the kitchen counter and in the background I was listening to a morning shows on the TV. Marilu Henna was talking about her new book, Total Memory Makeover. Marilu has something called Superior Autobiographical Memory. She can recall everyday of her life. Give her a date and she can tell you where she was, who she was with, what the weather was like, what was happening in the news that day and even what day of the week it was. I've heard her speak about her amazing memory before and there are only a handful of people in the world that can recall their life like she can. 

But as I was doing my daily chores, she started talking about how memory has three parts to it; anticipation, participation, and recollection. I started thinking about this. Anticipation of an upcoming event is such an important part of the actual event. Thinking about my weekend in NY with my girls and my mom to go see Wicked weeks before our trip brought me happiness. The weeks before Molly's first communion were definitely hectic but thinking about family coming to visit and my last first communion of my youngest brought happiness as well as a little melancholy. The kids are most definitely feeling the anticipation of the last day of school. With each day we get a little closer. Yesterday was our last CCD class. Two of my kids are now done with SOL testing and the other one will be finished tomorrow. End of year parties are being planned. They are anticipating.

This past weekend was absolutely beautiful. It was perfect weather to watch all my kids' sports and it was also the perfect weekend to have a barbecue and eat outside on the deck. As I was sitting at our outdoor table, all cleaned off from the winter, flower baskets hanging in full bloom before the heat of the summer gets to them, deck lights hanging that Chris just put up and a dinner on my plate that I didn't cook thanks to my hubby, it put me in the mood for summer. I was anticipating. I went inside, grabbed a piece of paper, wrote the alphabet down the side and wrote "read" next to the letter R. I past it to Timmy and told everyone that this was our Summer Bucket List. I wanted everyone to write down what they wanted to do this summer. Conversations started, laughter could be heard, recollections of previous summers and trips were discussed, and they were anticipating the summer to come. This is our list.

Our Summer Bucket List

A- Adventure Park, Asseteague Island
B- beach, boogie board, block party, Basketball Hall of Fame, bike rides, boat rides, Big Time Rush Concert
C- catch fireflies, climb trees, catch butterflies, catch turtles, collect seashells, corn on the cob, Charleston
D- drive around the country
E- enjoy life
F- Fenway Park, fireworks, fish
G- golf, get along with one another, get a horse
H- have fun, hike, sit in the hammock, honeysuckles, Hyman's Restaurant
I- ice cream
J- Jeff Hawes Basketball Camp, Jeep rides, Jim's beach
K- Kiawah
L- lemonade sale, lobster
M- Montauk, mini-golf, mussels, manhunt, make new friends, Marianne & Charlie's boat
N- Niagara Falls, New York
O- Orioles Game
P- popsicles, Poconos, picnics, project life
Q- Meet the Queen of England
R- read, Rascal Flatt's concert
S- swim, sing a happy song, scrapbook, star gaze, summer olympics, Smoky Mountains
T- Toronto, tubing in the Shenandoah
U- Uncle Brian's
V- Visit Aunt Jackie and Uncle Mark
W- watermelon, waves, walk on the beach at night and listen to the waves
X- extreme laziness
Y- Yankee Game
Z- Zinga

I love this list for a few reasons. First I can see their anticipation of things we already have planned; Kiawah, our annual summer New York trip, the boys' basketball camp. These are things that we have done in the past and they know we will do again. They are anticipating. 

Then they have things on the list that we talked about for this summer but have never done before; going to Toronto to see the Yankees play the Blue Jays, going to Niagara Falls, doing a Boston trip and taking a tour of Fenway Park, going to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA. They are anticipating. 

But then there is recollection from years past. We went to the Smoky Mountains a few years ago but they want to go back. We went to Montauk, NY last year but they want to go back. Their recollections are strong. 

Then there are the hopes and dreams that have made it to the list. I can say with all certainty that we will not be getting a horse this summer and we have no plans to go to England to try to meet the Queen. But I love that they are on the list.

I also love that they have everyday kid stuff that everyone should be doing in the summer time; climb a tree, catch fireflies, watermelon, collect seashells, lemonade sales, swim. Such ordinary everyday summer stuff but they added it to our list. 

But the things that I love the most of all are the things that they didn't add. Notice they didn't add watch TV to the list or play xbox. Now I know my kids will do both these things this summer but I love the fact that they didn't think about adding it to the list.

I feel that one of my jobs as a mom is to help make memories with my kids; anticipation, participation, and recollection of memories. Only 12 days till summer...but who's anticipating? We are!

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