"Make a memory with your children
Spend some time to show you care
Toys and trinkets can't replace those
Precious moments that you share.
Money doesn't buy real pleasure
It doesn't matter where you live
Children need your own attention
Something only you can give.
Childhood's days pass all too quickly
Happy memories all too few
Plan to do that special something
Take the time to go and do.
Make a memory with your children
Take the time in busy days
Have some fun while they're growing
Show your love in gentle ways."
This entry goes out to every single one of you. It matters not if you are a grandparent, Mom or Dad, single adult, a teenager, or even a kid. Whether you are seven or 70, one common bond that binds us together is our unconditional love for our family.
As a parent, what and when was that last memorable moment you had with your child? In defining this moment, it would be a time spent together, or an incident experienced together that was significant enough to remain forever etched in your memory.
I know of a child who had hazy memories of an expensive family holiday in the UK, but could never stop talking about sharing a loaf of bread with his mom to feed the ducks at the Serpentine in Hyde Park.
I call such moments Sweet Spots. People I know call them by many other names - Happy Moments, Highlights, High Points, Twinkling Moments - but they are basically the same thing, that is, significant moments tucked away in the treasure trove of one's memory bank.
Despite the name, such memories need not even be saccharine sweet. There was one incident, neither sweet nor heartwarming but hilarious (with the benefit of hindsight, that is), that remains etched in my memory until today. It makes me laugh each time I think of it.
It happened 35 years ago when the ex, while teaching me how to drive in the vast compound of his father's official residence, jumped out of the car instead of grabbing the wheels the moment I careened out of control towards one of the pillars at the porch.
The cop manning the sentry box at the entrance looked in horror, expecting a crash-boom-bang! anytime. I managed to evade the pillar by ploughing through (soon-to-be) mom-in-law's precious bed of gladiolis and some potted plants, narrowly missing her much-prized orchid garden. [The family said it should have been the pillar and not the matriarch's flowers].
A close friend quoted the time when his friends ganged up on him during a poolside barbeque and threw him unceremoniously, fully clothed, into the pool. Another recalled singing in the rain at the top of her lungs with her siblings during one downpour, whilst walking home from a kampung school.
Never mind that they were soaked to the skin and had to dry their books on the pangkin (a raised wooden platform in the front yard of a kampung house) later on. Singing in the rain was simply fun, fun, fun. And the memory stuck.
I am sure you have your own sweet spots to share. Even everyday gestures can be just as memorable; a big hug from the kids when you walk through the door after a long day at work, the little ones 'helping' you cook in the kitchen, celebrating your team's goal together, playing the piano with your child and singing in perfect harmony together, watching the sunset by the beach with the entire family...
Unlike westerners, we Malaysians hardly practise the culture of capturing our moments on camcoders or any video recording devices. We are digital camera-inclined and use the video function only sparingly, to record only special events like birthdays, weddings and such.
[Taping other people's conversations and embarrassing private moments with malicious intent don't count, ok].
I think it's about time we start and let's not limit ourselves to just 'special' events, because a sneak kiss by the beloved is just as special, don't you think? Always have a camcoder handy. More often than not, sweet spots involve family members, people you are most emotionally connected to. I am inclined to think those involving small kids are the best - a baby's first steps or first word, for example.
Let's create memories and capture them visually for posterity. I used to be so technologically inept that I didn't even know how to handle the TV remote or operate the video recorder and the microwave oven. I fumbled with all the buttons on the mobile phone, and was absolutely terrified of the computer. And Internet gave me the chills; I didn' quite know what to make of it.
Today, at 55, I surf bigtime, blog, google and wiki-ed, download songs and videos and stuffs. And I carry a digital camera in my handbag at all times, ready to capture memorable moments at the flick of a finger. Seriously, I never thought I would come this far. Sweet spots, here I come!
PS: Somehow, I am not ready for a Blackberry yet. It looks intimidating (too many functions I'm sure I'll lose my bearing in the maze).