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Lessons from Your Mother

May 10, 2019

This may sound funny, but sometimes I find myself wondering  if either of my girls will grow up to write a memoir.  I wonder about their first memory, if it’s already occurred – helping me pour milk into their cereal, watching cartoons on the couch with dad, reading books in the big bed with lots of pillows.  Or perhaps it’ll be in the future, on vacation: ocean foam around their toes, Mickey Mouse ears on their heads.  It could even happen today.  Would they remember the weather, that it was a rainy week and we sat on the front porch to watch the storms?  That they played pretend in the car on the way to school and then collected red leaves on the sidewalk because they know they’re my favorite?  Hopefully, Jane won’t remember that this was also the day I forgot to put a note in her lunchbox because it’s almost summer and mama’s tired -- fingers crossed. Hopefully she’ll remember the good stuff, the songs and the sunshine.

All of this got me wondering about other families and the memories they’re making, so Justine and I began to ask this question:  When my children grow up, what is one memory I hope they remember with fondness and want to pass along to their own children?

We were overwhelmed by the wonderful responses we received, each so funny or touching or inspiring, and all perfect. Please read on for the full list of submissions, and Happy Mother’s Day.



When my children grow up, I hope they remember me reading a story to them every night as their eyes grew heavy & sleep came closer. I hope they remember baking in the kitchen with mama & how much better they thought it would taste because they helped make it. I hope they remember Saturday mornings when everyone slept in a little later & everyone would end up in mama's bed snuggling for awhile before we would start the day. I hope they remember when we'd go for a drive & turn the radio up a little too loud so we could all sing at the top of our lungs. - Sarah Mathenia, @sarahmathenia


To my two boys, River and Sage:  Being your momma is my greatest joy.  I never imagined that I could love so big.  You boys have opened me up in a million ways, shown me just how precious life is.  I am forever grateful for you both.  Love you forever and ever. -  Christy Dawn @christydawn 


I've always found I'm happiest by the sea, and while we live in a city, we're only a two hour drive from the ocean, and we head there whenever we're feeling like we need a recharge. As a child my mom, baby sister and I would walk along the shore collecting shells and sea glass. Now I do this with Jack and Juliette. I love that intangible feeling of the smallness that is humanity, walking along the powerful waves crashing nearby, reminding us how majestic our earth really is. We bring home only a few treasures to remind us of our adventures and leave the rest for the sea to take back each evening. We have them all together in a large jar and we pull them out sometimes, allowing our hands to run along their edges and the memories to flood back in. - Lindsay Meyer Harley, @lindsaymeyerharley


A tradition that has been passed on from my Oma, to my mother, to me and hopefully to my own kids would be our German Christmas Eve dinner. Every holiday season we look forward to our Dinner with all of the German fixings. Everyone is having fun and helping in the kitchen -creating lifelong memories with a tradition my family holds near and dear to our hearts. — Jamie Menna @ministylemag 


Well, we just finished traveling Europe together as a family for 3 months, and since that’s the biggest life-changing & bond-making experience we’ve shared, I hope they will remember all the trains, planes, buses and boats we rode, the miles we walked, laughs we had, fights we got into and then had laughs about later, monuments we saw, and especially the magic and beauty of our Earth, all with fondness. I hope they saw me challenge myself to travel and explore despite my fear and will some day do the same. - Hannah Carpenter, @hannahacarpenter


For Mother’s Day I usually go to the park.  We lay out a blanket under a beautiful tree, pack fresh berries, tea and bring some soccer balls.  There’s something about being out in the fresh air with other families that feels celebratory and grounding. - Kimberly Van Der Beek, @vanderkimberly

I hope my kids remember how important mealtime was in our family, how we prioritized it every night: sitting around the table together, laughing, sharing stories, the best parts of our day, maybe sometimes even the worst. No matter what the day brought, we were there. Every night. Together.  - @ourgrowingstorey 

I would consider a great success for all four of my children was the beeswax candle dipping around Christmas. The oldest loved it just as much as the youngest, the helped each other out when necessary and learned so much about the process of making candles, it takes lot of patience and love, and when you give that the result is beautiful. We’ve send around little candles as Christmas greetings to family and friends. I am pretty sure they all see this as a warm winter memory and will ask for this many winters to come. - Sanne, @sannehop


Every Sunday night we’re at my grandmother’s. Every Sunday night she makes us cakes and coffee with whipped cream. And every Sunday night we play boardgames and cards. During which more food is brought in. Chocolates, grapes, cheese, nuts. There’s no other day of the week we eat more than on Sunday night.

I enjoyed the games. The togetherness. It really didn’t matter what we played or did, Sunday night was always cosy and warm. Sweet memories.

I am a mother myself now. One of the adults. I never snack as much as in those days. But I still love to play boardgames. Mostly (but not only) on Sunday evenings. Of course my boys love to play computer games. But when I see the sparkle in their eyes, and feel their enthusiasm when we’re playing board games together, I deeply feel how important it is to pass this on to my children. The memories of a busy room, family members laughing and having fun around the big table. Sometimes a few tears when things don’t work out the way you want them to. That it’s not always about winning or losing. But the joy of the moment, and the importance of making memories together. Memories they hopefully look back on with warm feelings when they grow up and are adults themselves. - Tessa, @tessahop


I hope my children remember me baking for them and teaching them how along the way. I want them to see how making something with your hands for someone can be a physical manifestation of your love for them. There’s a joke on my grandmother’s side of the family about the “pie gene.” I’m lucky enough to have inherited the pie gene and I’m hopeful to pass it on to my kiddos, too. - Emily, @thistleandfig



My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature." -Claude Monet.  My favorite memories growing up are ones that involve flowers, nature, and my mom.  She had a whimsical fondest for the famous French painter that I've come to understand more deeply as an adult and mother.  Like his paintings, our time spent outdoors are moments you want to freeze.  You wish these moments would last forever.  As I raise my daughter, I hope to impart similar nostalgia with our time together.  Though I don't have the extensive gardens my mother had, and I have a distinct brown thumb, I've translated my love for nature, flowers and time with my daughter, in to our own special thing.  We meander where ever we find beauty and inspiration much like I image the subject's in Monet's paintings do.  Whether it's a gravel road near Texas' wildflowers or the glaciers of Alaska, we walk, talk, and explore.  Her little hand in mind, we explore our own version of nature and our own mother-daughter bond. Kristen @kisstheswirl


One memory I hope my kids remember with fondness is supper time around the kitchen table. It's my favourite time. When everyone is in one place. Where we each take a turn to say our favourite and not so favourite parts of the day. Everyone is heard. Although my answer is always the same, "my favourite part of the day, is sitting here, with all of you." I know they won't remember specific times but I hope they remember it with fondness and no matter where life takes them, I hope they always come back to our kitchen table. - Jenna Hobbs, @thehobbsfarm 


My mama always prioritized time spent with us over her own to-do list. Our house was rarely tidy but we never once doubted that we were loved. Now I realize how integral that was to my childhood and I’m doing everything I can to provide the same love-centered home for my babies. - Rosina, @thetortoiseandthehareclothing

When my children grow up, I hope they remember the happiness + the laughter + all the love that filled these walls. I hope they remember climbing into our big king sized bed, that’s really not that big at all, late in the night and waking all tangled up together in the morning. I hope they remember the good morning hellos + kisses that followed. I hope they remember jumping on the furniture and dancing their little hearts out to Queen, day after day after day. I hope they remember us all sitting around the table every night at dinner, sharing stories of our days and dreams for tomorrow. And I hope they remember just how much they needed each other, the smiles they gave one another after being separated (even if it was just for a minute) and how much we needed them too. That they are the biggest blessings who really taught us what this life is all about. - Lindsey Badenhop, @lindseybadenhop


I have fond memories of spending my childhood at the beach with my Mother and Grandmother. Playing in the sand, the crashing of waves, salty scents drifting through the air, and collecting shells with my two children Ze’ev and Talia take me right back to the moments I shared with two of my favorite women. I hope the beach and our summers spent with “Bubbie” will evoke the same memories in them. May they always have the calmness of the ocean breeze surrounding them; and leave footprints in the sand wherever they may go. - @rachelulman



I can’t wait for the day my daughter can sit by my side and knit with me. I began knitting when she was a little sweet pea, allowing her freedom to play independently while I was ‘busy’ but present in her environment. Since then she has watched me create so many gems for her and her dolls. Soon she will appreciate the craft and we can create not only memories but actual garments for each other to cherish. - Sophie Assa, @roseview_la


When my children grow up, I hope they remember with fondness how much we all delight in each other. The arms that fly open for a hug when Dada walks in the door . . the belly laugh that comes with a slipped toot at the dinner table  . . . or the standing ovation that comes with learning a new letter of the alphabet. There isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t delight in these kids, and I hope they remember that with fondness. - Elyse, @elysendean


When I was little, we spent every Mother’s Day planting in the garden. We’d talk and laugh while the spring sun lingered and every year we watched as our blooms came back, adding to the garden each year that passed. I know we were gardening, but more than that we were talking. My mother always had an open door for us and I never felt afraid to go to her. There was a trust that made even the most difficult talks feel less intimidating. When my children grow up, I hope they always remember that I’m here to talk no matter what. As we continue our own tradition of Mother’s Day gardening, of planting trees and perennials that I can watch grow right alongside my children, I also hope I can continue my own mother’s tradition of having that open door. And that they come to me knowing they’ll always find open-mindedness, support, and love. - Naomi, @naomi_etcetera



When my children grow up, I hope they’ll remember the joy of playing outside, exploring in your own backyard, and adventuring in the great outdoors. The simple times of being outside together are the best times. - Kerry, @notatallsarcastic


I hope they remember our time in the garden: slowing down, working with our hands, learning the patient tasks of tending and waiting. I hope they remember that good and beautiful things take time to grow and that the hours we spent together barefoot, out under then sun were never wasted. - Lindsay, @chalkfullofdesign


I hope my children look back at their childhood and remember the little games we made up, the books we read together, the adventures we took and the inside jokes we had. I also hope they remember juuuuuust enough of my nagging so that they’ll be responsible adults that can pick up after themselves. - Jodie Thornton, @jodieemarieee


I didn’t grow up at the ocean but I’ve spent most of my adult life living near one. it fills my soul with something I can’t quite explain. When we first moved away from Seattle to South Carolina I was homesick and still struggling to settle in, I’d drive us to the beach and sit in the sand and watch Sawyer splash in waves, I remember telling Taylor that when I’m there, no matter what it is that’s hurting i feel like everything is going to be okay.  

Shepherd and Sawyer are growing up here, they’re being raised at the ocean. A few days ago we were at the beach and I was standing a few feet into the water holding Shep while Sawyer jumped waves as the tide came in. He had fallen asleep in my arms as the sun set and the sky was all colors of peach and pink and blue and my arms were going numb holding him but I couldn’t move from that moment. it really wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for us to be there, or for him to sleep in my arms while his sister played, but for that moment, I just couldn’t move from it. It dawned on me that these are their memories, the ones that will be fuzzy someday for them but living in their bones and I just hope my babies always feel this peace here, that I can give them the ability to find a place that makes them feel like no matter what it is that’s hurting, everything is going to be okay.  - Kimmy Noel Hildebrand, @kimberlynoelhildebrand



I’ve been called dancing queen a lot in my life and one thing I absolutely love is that my girls are always ready to bust a move! I’m not the funnest mom out there but I will dance with my girls until the cows come home. I hope they know that I will always be ready to back them up in a dance battle. -Leah Hazley, @mrshazleyandababy


When my children grow up, I hope they always remember our summers together. Our trips to Cape Cod to the same place my parents took my brother and me. The days spent outside all day long. Those after beach naps when we all crawled into bed together with sandy feet. When we had no schedule and some nights decided ice cream for dinner was the best idea. The swimming, sand castle building, bonfires and bbqs. And most importantly I hope they always remember that every summer we were always together. - Brooke Mantz, @brooke_mantz


When my children grow up, I hope they always remember me racing them to the pool & spraying my perfume on their pillow to help them fall asleep. -Megan Davis, @everydavismoments


I hope my kids have cherished our bedtime routine. That special one on one time with each boy as they lay in bed sharing snuggles, songs, and stories. -Carrie Ball, @kindergartentoolkit


When my children grow up I hope they remember crawling in to bed with me in the morning as they slowly woke up (and not my groans when it was too early). I hope they remember how I always pretended I was so scared when they tried to scare me. That whenever I say “Guess what?”, it’s always followed by “I love you.” That I was always there to listen to their worries, their joys, their anger, their fears & their tears. That when they needed a snuggle, they could always count on it. That sometimes it’s fun to leave the house a mess and go do something frivolous. That cookies always need more chocolate chips than stated on the recipe card & that you can never plant “enough” flowers. I hope that by writing these things down, the weight of their importance of them does not escape my mind as we live out our day to day. I hope they know I tried every day to be a good mom.  I hope they know I love them. -  Katrina Massey, @katrinajmassey 


When my kids grow up, I hope they remember mama spinning them across the kitchen floor as we danced to our favorites. I hope they remember mama reenacting Bible stories at bedtime every night while they were tucked under the covers. And I hope they remember all the times mama bent down and met their gaze as they confessed very seriously their every thought. Ultimately, I hope they remember the good—in its purest, joyous sense—over any of the bad. Because man is it ever good. - Heidi Lee, @thismotherhen


Hikes in the woods are my favorite memories with the kids. Nothing planned, no toys- just us and their spontaneous conversations (serious and goofy), play, and laughter.  This is when we really thrive together. - Lindsay, @oatmealpancake

When my children grow up, I want them to remember our annual vacations to Duck, NC in the Outer Banks. It’s significant in so many ways and has truly become the one place where we disconnect from the world and relish in the company of each other. From crabbing off the dock to fresh tomato pie, this slice of the Carolina coast holds a big piece of our hearts that we know will continue to be passed on from our girls to their children. - Amanda Krovic, @amandakrovic



When my children grow up, I hope they remember how we modeled to love people well. I want my children to grow up treating every gender and race with respect and kindness. How we show up for friends through the good and when the waves get rough. Most importantly, I want them to love others as God Loves us. - Dani Colding, @thecoldcraftsman


Just like my mother taught me, even the darkest day can be brightened by the power of a sincere apology, a sketchbook by the sea, and a little prayer. And also that potato chips in your sandwich is always a good idea. - Lily Fryer, @ohheylil


One of the memories I hope my children always tuck into their hearts is spending time in the kitchen together. Wether we’re making Mac and cheese, stirring up a banana bread, or even just letting them learn how to cut up a cucumber. I hope good food always brings us together! - Rebecca, @mama__wolf


My mother worked outside of the home much of my childhood, as do I. At the end of the day, she would lay with us before bedtime and ask what we enjoyed and what we didn’t enjoy that day. I remember those fondly. I do the same with my girls as we cuddle at bedtime, and hope to continue as they grow. Those few moments, focusing on just them, is something I hope they always remember. - Alice Sigh, @crapnapchronicles


I am looking forward to having tea in the cafe and shopping with my daughter on holidays. It is mediocre everyday, but I want to soak up every moment with daughter. - Hiroka, @magpie.17


Wren and Nora, I hope to always help you chase your dreams and face your fears. I hope to show you real courage, strength and bravery so that you know you truly are a gift. I hope to teach you patience so that you can show this world kindness through the way you’ll listen and treat others. I know that I’ll let you down and show you my anger. But I hope to show you the power of forgiveness through my own faults so that you see this world doesn’t offer perfection. I know that you will face defeat and feel real sadness. But I hope I can show you how to rise up each time you get knocked down. I hope to show you a kind of love that never fails, never ceases and never gives up. A love that offers you room to stretch and grow yourself into people that love people for who they are. - Hillary Meadows, @hillarymeadows


I hope my children remember the love for our garden. I remember fondly my grandmother teaching us about her flowers and can still taste the carrots we used to dig up fresh from her veggie plot. Now that we have cultivated a space where we can have a little garden of our own I hope they will remember the scent of the lilac trees in the yard and joy of sharing warm strawberries in the summertime. - Alexa Johnston, @_alexajohnston


I am all about simple moments. Every morning we eat breakfast together and I read aloud to him. We both love it and look forward to it. It starts our day slowly and with intentions. I will remember these moments for the rest of my life and I hope he will too! - Jacinthe, @littlehouse_happyfamily


My hope is for them to remember the days we spent in the kitchen cooking our meals together. How our friends would join us and naturally everyone would end up around the kitchen island, where we would make salsa, tell jokes and talk about our days. - Vanessa, @vanessaandthebees


When my children grow up, I hope they remember holding hands with mine as we traveled this world together, and long after my hands have left this earth, I hope they still travel and see me right there beside them. My six year old said this once, “ I’m going to travel the whole world twice, once with you and then once by myself and I’ll remember you everywhere I go.”  -Lindsey, @wanderingdarlings



When my children grow up I hope they always remember the way we prioritized playfulness and fun! From spontaneous trips down the coast with friends to celebrating the heck out of every birthday and holiday to the small stuff like ice cream after ballet and park play dates til dusk. Yes I hope they remember the lessons we taught them and that the grind of consistent parenting shapes them into decent humans someday but above that I hope they look back and remember that we were always laughing and never taking ourselves too seriously. - Savannah, @dutchplum

I adored books as a kid and was always reading. The first thing I purchased when I found out I was pregnant was “Goodnight Moon” and I proceeded to read that to my unborn son throughout pregnancy. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why he still loves it at 5 years old. My son and daughter always say yes when I ask if they’d like to read together and I’m so grateful they both turned out to be little bookworms like their mommy. Books are special to us in so many ways, but because they allow me to be truly present in the moment, I cherish them so much more. -  Carolina Greenholtz,  @carogreenholtz


When my children grow up, I hope they remember our times we spend outside enjoying fresh air, running around barefoot and being nothing but in the moment giggling under the sun. I hope they remember the hours we spend inside on a rainy day baking learning new recipes and always spoiling ourselves afterwards. I hope they remember the happiness that fills our home the love and the laughter that we share and every night before bed the endless kisses. - Kelsi Gaudette, @kelsi.gaudette


Motherhood has thought me not to take like too seriously and to rest! Kids are hard wired to not have a care in the world and to rest when they need. These things (having fun, slowing down and resting) as we have grown we have learned to shut those hard wirings off and push through. But my sweet boys have reminded me to dance when I want to dance and to rest when my body tells me I’m tired! - Jacey Caldwell, @_jaceycaldwell


Slowing down and cherishing the little things is something I love to encourage in our home. It doesn’t take much either! We carry a blanket in the car to take with us anytime we want to lay down under a tree and rest in the sunshine. We stare at the sky and breathe in the fresh air, then the kids love to run around together and search for wildflowers. In a world that seems to be going faster and faster, I hope we can always slow down and just be  . . . that’s what my Grammie taught me.  -Acacia Mayo, @acaciaofmay


When my children grow up I hope they remember their spring times spent outside preparing/planting our gardens and playing in the mud. My sister and I always helped our mom plant flowers around Mother’s Day each year. And then, I hope they remember the summer evenings spent watering the garden, spraying each other with the hose and sampling some of those tomatoes and berries together!   Lauren Kneff, @laurenkneff


When my daughter grows up, I hope she remembers that fresh air is the best medicine. I hope she always feels the magic when she connects with nature. - Kami, @kamsblu


I hope they remember we always came together at the dinner table, chatted about life, laughed at the silliest moments...where we sang countless Happy Birthdays and Cheers’d each other with our cups (and forks). That table was, and always is, home for us.. We always left the table a stronger, closer family. Food in our bellies, love in our hearts. - Karolyn Briley @thebrileybirds


It is my number one goal in life that my children look back on their childhood and recognize nothing but unconditional love and affection through it all. I pray that love pours out of every memory of theirs the way that it does when I think of my childhood. I hope they remember how their parents are so in love, that game nights are for quality time, and that everything we do as parents, we do because we love our children, including punishments. Tabitha Appell, @appellnest


One of our family rules is “no phones at the table.” We established the rule when Dominic and I realized that we were on them a lot -- especially during dinnertime. Now, if we’re at the table, there are never ever any phones allowed, even when guests come over! Just some really really good conversations and lots and lots of laughs. - Katie Galto, @ohheykt

As a child of four children, I always admired how much strength and patience my mother had taking care of all of us while my father worked long hours.  She rarely yelled and when she did, you knew it.  She taught us love, respect and kindness toward all humans and animals.  She was dedicated to making memories for all four of us. All are deeply engrained in my memory that I could write a book.  I want my children to remember my presence for them - our nightly mealtimes together are so important.  Of course, they will remember that they must have their greens before they get their meal. They may complain about my healthy food rules now, but I know in my heart that it will stick with them.  We also have a tradition at the table to pass a heart shaped spoon around.  Everyone must listen to the other family member tell their story about their day or a memory of their own.  It’s always amazing to hear what they have to say and when we really, truly listen to one another, that’s when deep connection happens. - Justine Hoagland  @justinehoagland founder/ @cloth

We would love to know more about your family's memories too; please leave them in the comments below and on your IG by hash-tagging #lessonsfromyourmother.  We will be sharing in Cloth stories and one lucky mama will receive a present on Mother's Day!  

Happy Mother's Day to you all from Cloth! 

-- written and compiled by Kristen Dickson, @tojaneandrose, and Justine Hoagland, Founder @cloth