One of the most valuable things we can do for our tamariki is to engage them in activities that will create wonderful memories for them. It is not just the memories of those times but their feelings experienced during those times that are so precious. It is the wonder of these times that remain as they grow into adulthood and not only provide a lasting connection with us but will also help to sustain them through their many ups and downs of life.
I remember as clear as yesterday the wonderful times I spent with my Dad. I still can feel those same feelings I experienced then, even though it was almost six decades ago. I remember being with my Dad in his tool shed out the back of our house. It was a great shed; I often dream of it still. All his screwdrivers were all lined up in a row poking out of little holes on the window sill and he had a special place for his hammers, saws and other tools. I loved being out there with him as he made things out of wood and metal on his long wooden bench. He often showed me how to make things as well.
Then there was his large vegetable garden where he grew just about every vegetable imaginable. I used to watch him for hours as he watered the garden in the evening and planted the long straight rows of seeds. How I loved being out there with him.
During the school holidays he would take me camping where we would go fishing at the river. We caught countless fish, mainly herrings, and would cook them for dinner and eat them in our tent. Then in the evenings we would go to the local shop to see if my Mum had sent us a letter. Dad would always buy me a little chocolate bar which I took back to our camp and saved in a little jar. I remember the fun was in saving them for another day. Dad never said that I had too many and that I didn’t need any more; he just lovingly brought another one.
Dad died when I was only 22 but I still have those feelings with me. I only need to think of those times of being with him and I remember those warm feelings and his love for me, his daughter.
We all can create these special memories for our tamariki. And the wonder of it is they will last a life time.