Dear Gavin, Breiden and Fiona-
I often try to think of what my earliest memories are. My childhood was mixed with a strained family situation, nothing violent or horrible by all means, but enough bad things that and I know that my mind has put up blocks to keep me from remembering a lot of it. Memories are so important to me, and so the idea that I can't get to some eats at me. Sometimes I think I remember something, but, in actualization, I am only recalling pictures that I have seen of that time. My very first real memory, I think, was when I was four.
The first four years of my life I don't remember. Well, at least anything detailed. And that is this time in your life. Gavin and Breiden, as you approach your fourth birthday this June, I am very aware that your life could be starting to be burned into your tiny memories. Any day now could hold that moment that years from now you will squint your eyes (like that will help you see it) and recall your first memories. The anti has just been upped.
Well... I am hoping that your first memory isn't face diving into a tree, sledding down the hill in Papa and Grandma's back yard. We had so much fun visiting everyone up in Michigan this past weekend. While you boys have been to the snow before, you weren't old enough to remember. And Fiona, this was not only your first time seeing snow, but it was your first flight!
It snowed our first night there, while you were sleeping, but we got to enjoy it on the ground the next morning. Fiona, maybe next time you will be big enough to play with your big brothers. This year, we let you nap in your warm crib inside, while the boys hit the hill outside.
Gavin, you loved it. You are our fearless kid. And when we were all cheering Breiden down the small hill on the snowboard, you grabbed a sled, jumped on backwards, and flew down the big hill by yourself. I love your free spirit. So I tried to video tape you doing it again. Only this time, you didn't aim as well and.. well... you can watch the video.
You were fine, but we called it quits for the day. Breiden showed you up the next day when he flew into the woods at the bottom of the hill, directly into the log pile, with a nice bloody nose to show for it. That's when we finally decided to stick to the little hill on the side of the house that allowed less velocity and had less targets to avoid. You both loved it.
Being back in my home town brought back memories. Its crazy how a sight or smell can bring you back to a moment so quickly. I am so thankful that you got to experience a Michigan winter. And you never once complained about the cold. Someday, it will be interesting to hear what exactly your first memories are, and what about your childhood stood out to you. I hope you remember things like snuggling with your aunts, grandmas homemade hot coco, Papa's cologne, the crunch of snow under a sled and cold wind on your cheeks. I hope your mind is filled with nothing but the sense of being loved and wanted and a strong sense of self worth. That family is always a reliable cornerstone in your life.