How to preserve memories for 50 years
“What did you eat yesterday?” “And the day before yesterday?” Hmm…if I make a mental effort, I can remember it. “Do you remember your first day at primary school?” I definitely don’t. This means, at least it wasn’t traumatic — but also not particularly remarkable. Selective memory? Or not?
My niece Lina, who lives in Germany, was excited to start school. To be precise, she was excited to her first day of school. And I can understand why. In Germany, the first day of school is a big thing. The kids are invited the Saturday before the school starts to a ceremony at the school. They meet their new teacher and schoolmates, and they see the building where they’ll spend the next 6 years of their lives. But the thing the kids look the most forward to is the “Zuckertüte”, a big cone full of sweets.
The first day of school is a big moment in a kid’s life. It’s the first step in their academic career. And, as such, it should be special and memorable. Having a ceremony — on a Saturday, a guided visit to the school, a meeting with their future colleagues, and of course, the Zuckertüte — all of these together, elevates this moment. Many years later, they won’t remember what they learned that day, but for sure, they’ll remember the excitement of the day and the big cone of sweets.
Since we couldn’t join Lina on her first day of school, we sent her a small gift to contribute to build her memories. We gave her a lunchbox and a bottle for the school with an illustration I made for her. She is featured riding on her flying Zückertüte. To enhance the meaning of the illustration, my kids wrote a story about Lina and her flying Zückertüte. The story tells the adventure of the four of them in places where they had been together.
Big moments deserve to become memorable moments. All it takes is a bit of effort.
Which moments are coming up that you want your kids, your partner or other beloved ones to still remember in 50 years? Let me know how you will design this moment to make it lasting!