Flea Market Fun and Making Memories by Melissa Swedoski

When I became at first-time mom at 40, I wondered if I had the stamina to keep up with a little one. Even though there were (and still are) many sleep deprived days, I think we’ve done a good job keeping up with our girls. And the best part, we’re making memories that will carry into a lifetime.

One thing I’ve learned, it’s not always what you do, but how you do it. We frequently are accompanied by family on our adventures, and I think this is a bonus. It gives our kids a perspective broader than ours, but it also lets them know they are connected to a shared past. And in the end, it’s not that I worry if our girls will remember visiting Sea World when they were only 1 and 2. It’s that they will remember the fun, the laughter and the good times of their childhood. That’s when I know we’ve succeeded.

Last weekend, however, it was just the four of us, for the first time in a long time. We haven’t had the freedom to just be on our own, without the necessity of entertaining others, in quite a while. So I’m going to share with you how our Family Lifestyle looks, with a 2 year old and 3 year old in tow.

Saturday we woke early, because, well, the kids were awake. After breakfast, we got dressed and headed out to Trader’s Village, a flea market extravaganza. We weren’t sure how the girls would react, but we shouldn’t have worried. They were amazed. We drifted from booth to booth, buying bubbles and umbrellas, trying out toys and meeting people. In the end, we bought a kid-sized Gator, and the girls loved it.

After getting back home, we played outside with the new Gator, digging in the dirt and putting it in the back of their new vehicle. We had fun on the swings and played with the dogs. Nothing exciting or noteworthy, but enough to create photos and snapshots in our minds and hearts. We spent an hour or so in the pool, went out to eat at our favorite buffet, then hit up Target, where everyone left with something they wanted.Flea market fun and making memories - by Melissa Swedoski

On Sunday morning, the girls were both in our bed, and for almost an hour, we laughed, tickled, joked and were just silly to our heart’s content. It was glorious. After breakfast, we cleaned house, with the girls pitching in. Before they then undid almost everything we had done. The girls painted for a while while the parents continued working, and then we headed outside for more swimming time. We returned inside for a carpet picnic while watching Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. More laughing and giggling and lots of lap sitting. My favorite.

Not only did we have an easy going weekend of fun, but we shared family time that we can never lose. My husband and I even had a few quiet “adult” moments, hugging and kissing as our girls watched, occasionally giggling at us, and frequently trying to break it up. PDA isn’t appreciated by everyone, after all.

The thing I want to share with you, as a fellow older first-time mom, is this: you don’t have to run marathons with your kids or take them to five different museums in one day to prove you are a great parent. You only have to create moments that your kids recognize as special to you and to them. Share the love, share the fun, and they will always remember you for the wondrous life you have given them. Making memories.

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