Wendy Warner is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in private practice at Trinity Family Counseling Center. In addition to working with couples, children, and individuals, Wendy also enjoys teaching the premarital classes for all couples planning to marry at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Macomb.
As I reflect on life with my Dad, who recently lost his battle with cancer, I have been thinking about what memories last, and how they impact a child.
I grew up comfortably, but that is not what shapes my memories of my Dad. I remember when he got down on the floor to wrestle with me and my brother, played a game after dinner, or danced around the kitchen with me when we were supposed to be washing the dishes. I remember being greeted by his big smile after work when he was thrilled to see me. I remember him leaving work to watch me play field hockey. I was proud he and my mom wanted to be there.
The memories that stand out are about feeling important in his eyes. He poured value into me and made me feel that I was wonderful to be with. It wasn’t connected to my grades, my athletic ability or my appearance. He just loved me for me.
Now it is my turn to give my kids the gift of feeling loved and important. Sometimes this means listening when I need to work or accepting and encouraging them instead of “improving” them. Sometimes it means being silly just for fun. I want them to know what matters to them matters to me. They won’t remember our square footage or if the house was spotless, but moments of love, acceptance and play will shape their memories and feelings of self-worth.