Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Creating memories

I wrote a bit about this in my last post before Pessach, but I just keep coming back to this idea.
Obviously, you can create loving associations and work on your relationship with your children on any given day.
But somehow, there are certain times of the year that just seem to be more conducive to it. A holiday with lots of family meals and time off from work and school just seems like the perfect time to kick it up a notch. So these past few days, we have been really trying to focus on the kids. We had two very kid-centric seders. Even though we had other guests at one seder, the kids really were the focus of the evening.
We have also been eating dinner together as a family, which does not usually happen so much during our regular schedule. The kids seem to really be enjoying this, which makes me think we should try to make family dinner happen more often.
And then there are the trips. This year there are many days of Chol Hamoed which means there is lots of time for outings. And while I do not think that bigger is always better and that we have to go all out financially, I do think it is nice for the kids to do some activities that are a little different. So Monday we went to the Central Park Zoo. The kids really enjoyed checking out all the different animals and other than M having a little melt-down on the bus home because he was exhausted, it went very smoothly.
Today we decided to be really ambitious and took the subway to Brooklyn to a special Pessach concert featuring Uncle Moishy and Miami Boys Choir. It was a little bit of a trek and I was worried how Y was going to handle the noise and crowds, but again, it really went well. The subway ride was uncomplicated and not too long and all the kids loved the music. Y stayed seated for almost the entire show and only got scared at one point during a magic show. Baby AY slept through almost the whole thing! Seeing their faces light up with joy when their favorite songs were played and their general excitement about the concert made it all worth it.
Y and M with their hero Uncle Moishy

We came home, tired but satisfied. The next two days will be spent with more local, low-key acitivites but it was just so nice to be able to give the children these great experiences. I do hope it is something they remember and that they will associate Pessach with fun and family time.
I know that all the fun during these weeks does not substitute for mindful, conscious parenting all year round, but I do see it as an important supplement, a small infusion of quality and quantity time. Do you agree? What have you been doing? Any exciting trips?

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