Childhood is full of carefree days, sleep filled nights, and the gift of hitting the repeat button over and over.
I've noticed though, that our generation of parents are slowly, and sadly changing some of the ingredients it takes for kids to be kids. Tonight, a friend posted a picture of her childhood home. She posted it with great sadness and nostalgia because the town tore it down. It was a modest, small home, and I was not only moved by the way she held on to the memories she made there, I was reminded of a time when it was less about the house you were in, and more about the people who filled the rooms, and the memories you made with them.
Somewhere in the middle of The Real Housewives and HGTV we have all become way too obsessed with what our homes appear to be, rather than what we create while living inside of them. New kitchens, lavish backyards, and game rooms to brag about are all just things. Kids laughing, adults talking, and meals being shared are moments. They are moments that have never required lavish backgrounds. In fact, the best memories are made over a backyard fire pit, or in a kitchen with a lanoleum floor. The best laughs have been had in a crappy basement while music plays over a cheap speaker. First crushes and bad break ups happened on backyard decks that looked out on to a field of weeds. Childhood memories happened by jumping through a sprinkler and running when the sound of the ice cream truck came down the street.
Watching movies, taking prom pictures, crying over heartbreaks, and celebrating engagements, marriages, anniversaries, and babies didn't need a big perfect house. Instead, all those moments required was a home. A house does not make a home. It is instead, the people who fill it, and the lives they build with the people they welcome into it.
You don't need a perfect kitchen, or a ton of rooms. You don't need things to impress the people around you, because in the end your children are watching. Your children are taking it all in, and trust me you want them to be like my friend. You want them to grow up and talk about the memories they made within the walls you provided them, rather than just talking about the walls. You want them to remember an amazing childhood instead of an amazing house.
The house that builds us doesn't use the walls or the kitchen. The house that builds us, does it with the memories we make while we live there.
This post originally appeared on Outsmarted Mommy