Most of my memories from my childhood are not full fledged memories as I know them as an adult. They are not full recollections of activities but more snapshots. Moments in time captured. We got a fair amount of snow last week. We live across from the fields of an elementary school and part of those fields are the sledding hills for the area. Whenever there is enough accumulation to make it possible, the kids come out in droves, lining up along the ridge and tearing down the short run before picking themselves up and racing back up to the top for another go.
I am certain that there were numerous sledding adventures in my childhood. Probably at least once every year, my sister and I hit the snow covered hills in our area. But there is one such outing that stands out. It happened when we lived in Heidelberg, Germany. And strangely it isn't really the sledding that I remember, although there are flashes of that. Tearing down the hill on the old-style curved toboggan or one of the metal and wood runner sleds. What I remember is afterward, when red-faced and wild-haired, we all trooped to the nearest fast food restaurant and sat down for french fries and hot cocoa. An unlikely combination but at 10 years old, after a cold afternoon spent sledding, they were divine. I remember all of us sitting around, my parents, my sister, and some family friends and their kids who were our age. In the snapshot in my mind, everyone is laughing as we cup the cocoa in cold hands.
I think about that image and how happy I was that day and I wonder what snapshots my daughter will take with her of her childhood. What unlikely event will be the amalgam for a group of happy memories? I know I can't possibly pick and choose which it will be, but it certainly makes me aware of each moment that I share with my daughter. And in that awareness, attempt to make every experience matter. Its easy to make the big moments spectacular, the magic is in making the little ones even more so.