Memories

I am a sucker for DIY and Home Makeover shows.  Actually, I have a love/hate relationship with them.  I love watching them, getting new ideas, seeing the before and after, and even just seeing how others live.  The hate comes from the fact that a) I start spending money I shouldn’t on items I really don’t need just so that I can “look like” the Jones, b) I come to the realization that it doesn’t matter how much money I spend, my end result will NEVER look like what’s on tv, or c) it takes colossally longer than the 30 minutes shown on tv (lol).  It’s a constant battle.

Sunday afternoon, I found myself lying on my couch and for the first time in a LONG while, binge watching tv.   Of course, what did I binge watch?  Well, none other than Lakefront Bargains.  It’s a show where people buy houses on a lake somewhere within the US at a ridiculously cheap price and then spends months and thousands of dollar remaking it.  I like this show more than the others just because I have a life goal of one day living on the lake as well.   I have these grand visions, of sitting on a back deck, made from hand carved cedar, with a rocking chair, a big fluffy blanket, a cup of coffee, a backyard covered in dead leaves (my vision is always at the end of Fall/start of Winter) that is sloping down to a dock with a boat moored in it.   There’s quiet except for the occasional scuttling of groundhogs and squirrels and the tweet of the random bird, who when flying south for winter is making their home here in SC.   I pull out my laptop and walk over to the custom built outside wooden table, and start writing, because in my visions I am the writer I always wanted to be.   Anyways…

Back to the show, and what triggered the writing of this blog post.  A family of six, that’s right six, has bought an “A-frame” style lake house.   They spend months of labor (some of it their own personal time) and tens of thousands of dollars (going $5k over budget) to turn this house into a place where “we can’t wait to build memories with our kids, memories that will last a lifetime”.  And there it is…building memories and writing this blog.  The show closes out with the parents saying those words while hanging out by a fire pit with fat marshmallows hanging onto sticks (that the kids found in the yard – memories) coming perilously close to being charred hunks as the licking flames of the fire reach higher (imagine those memories if the marshmallows catch on fire).

Memories!  There it is.   I love memories.  I love creating them.  I love my memories.  As a matter of fact, I love my memories so much that I’ve found myself doing everything in my power to record them NOW so that I don’t forget about them later.   Memories.   There’s the last page of each month’ Vanity Fair where it’s like a game of 20 questions for someone famous.   One of the questions is usually, “what is your most valued possession?”  I know what my answer would be…my memories.  So, again, let’s talk memories.

I chuckled as I watched the credits rolling on that episode of Lakefront Bargains with the 4 kids and the parents.  I chuckled because I’ve said those same words.  As a matter of fact, I had just said those very same words that morning, as I’m sitting out under the awning of our camper.  My oldest had woken up early and decided he wanted to see the sunrise over the lake.  I thought, “what a great idea, son.  I want to see it too.  Let’s go.”  Well, there was no sunrise to be seen, as the low clouds hung close and drained themselves of moisture, the pitter patter of rain starting to hit the top of the camper.   I made a pot of coffee and then sat outside with him. 

“Isn’t this great?” I asked.

“No, this sucks.  I can’t see the sunrise.  I woke up early for nothing and now it’s raining so I can’t ride the dirt bike.  I hate camping.  There’s nothing to do,” he grumbled as he reached for my iPhone to set up a hotspot on his video game.

Nearly six years ago, my husband and I decided we would start camping with the boys.  You know, “creating memories”.  We started with a tent, which didn’t go well considering that every time we went it would pour rain and sitting in a tent with two toddlers (one still in diapers and the other still potty training) along with a dog was just the epitome of misery in my book.   We eventually graduated up to a used camper and found that camping was amazing, and we’ve been camping ever since, usually twice a month at some lake within the State of South Carolina.   We’ve spent years creating memories.   It’s been great.  I love camping.  I look forward to it, even though the set up can be a pain, the end result is just all around amazing for me.  It’s awesome.   For years, my children have said the same thing.   They love camping, they look forward to it, they can’t wait to go, but as the years have moved, so has their attitude towards camping and mom’s best efforts to “create memories”.  The memories these days seem to consist of the two boys in the camper, fighting over an iPad, which then turns into a wrestling even that has some people wondering if the old slogan of “if the camper is rockin’, don’t come knockin’” is indeed holding true.   First off, it’s not.  If my camper is rockin’, it’s usually because my ungrateful brats are beating each other up.   Memories!

Most camping trips usually consist of prying them off of each other, holding them at arm’s length and yelling, “you two a-holes are ruining my camping trip.   I didn’t get to do this sort of stuff as a kid.  Your father and I are sacrificing for the two of you to have some things we didn’t have.   And instead, you selfish little sh*ts are destroying any sort of memory making I had in store.”  Of course, my yelling continues to rise, I’m nearly holding them off the ground by their biceps, and my husband is sipping his bourbon saying to me, “you should really calm down and get a grip.”  That usually elicits my yelling at him before stomping out of the camper and slamming the door.   Memories.  

What happened to those years when camping was the greatest thing, when arriving at the campsite, the boys would jump out of the truck and make friends?   They would ride their bikes through the campsite, skim rocks along the lake, pull out fishing poles and do some casting, or hit up the closest playground.   I would yell out as they were pedaling off, “any friends you make, don’t bring them to my campsite!”  (I love my children, but I don’t like other people’s children).  Now they don’t even bother trying to make friends with the other kids.  Memories.

I wanted to track down that family from Lakefront Bargains and tell them they’re in for a rude awakening.   When the mom asked the kiddos, as they were exploring the new house, “are we the best mom and dad ever?” I busted out laughing!   I wanted to reach through the screen, grab her by the shoulders and shake her uncontrollably while yelling, “wake up!”   These children will wake up one day and not appreciate the sacrifices you’re making in the name of “creating memories”.   They’ll whine, fight, complain, mope, pout, and purposely set out to make you miserable with them.   Memories. 

As my oldest and I sat out under the awning, listening to the rain, I tried to talk with him about why we go camping, about how one day he’ll wake up and be thankful for these memories, how he’ll pass this on to his children.   What did I get?  A roll of the eyes followed by an under the breath, “whatever”.  Memories! 

All of these thoughts came tumbling back in as a new episode of Lakefront Bargains came on and the teaser had the mom stating, “we’re just excited to create memories with our kids.”  Bwahahaha!  Might want to adjust whatever pre-conceived notion you had about those “memories” you’re so excited to create with your kids.