The only season that really mattered in my childhood home began with F and ended with LL. Not fall, but football.
I’m a child of the ’90s. When the glory days of the Dallas Cowboys were in full swing. Football was more than just a game in the home where I was raised. Football was synonymous with two values that my dad embodies with every fiber: commitment and hope. And while it’s been decades since the Cowboys have done anything outstanding, our commitment and hope remain.
If I eyed a classmate wearing a 49-ers jacket, it automatically meant we were not destined to be friends. Ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up and 7-year-old me would have boldly looked you in the eye and said: I want to own the Dallas Cowboys. If the Cowboys were winning, you could guarantee that dad would say yes to almost anything. But if the score was not in our favor, you just knew to stay clear of the living room.
I’m no longer a child, but my love for football remains. With the help of my brothers, we’ve turned our family love of football into a way to create memories with our dad. For the last 6 years, we’ve gone to visit a different NFL stadium. This year, the goal is to visit two to make up for last year. For five days, I’m abandoning my duties as mom and wife as I set out on a road trip with my dad and brothers. Making memories with our parents doesn’t end when we enter adulthood. At least, it doesn’t have to. With intentionality and creativity, making memories with our parents can be one way to continue to foster a healthy relationship.
I’ve never subscribed to the philosophy that parents and children only have 18 years together. I don’t believe it as a parent, and I certainly don’t believe it as a daughter. My dad will be the first one to tell you that I don’t always answer when he calls. He’ll remind me if I take too long to reply to a text. And between the busy schedules that we both have, it’s hard to get together often. But when the NFL releases their schedules, it’s the signal we need to start the planning process. This year we’re visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons stadiums.
Making Memories with Our Parents: Things to Consider
- Making memories with our parents doesn’t have to be as elaborate as cross-country road trips. And even though many of our parents enjoy their role as grandparents, it doesn’t mean that they don’t also treasure their time with their adult children.
- Making memories with your parents can be as simple as doing something based on a common interest. What’s something both of you enjoy? Perhaps you and your mom appreciate the craftsmanship of a handmade quilt. It could also be something as simple as dedicating a couple of Saturdays a year to go fishing with your dad.
- Making memories can also be inviting a parent to do something that is a first for both of you. Would mom enjoy visiting a different winery in Texas during summertime? It’s possible that you and dad could pick up a new hobby to share together: cycling, yoga, rock climbing, or cooking.
- Making memories can also be accomplished by creating new family traditions. Maybe you decide that movie marathons are how you’ll spend your Thanksgiving weekends. Maybe baking a favorite dish or volunteering at a local non-profit together will become the new things that you and your parent can look forward to doing.
I’m grateful for the time I have with my dad, and I know my brothers feel the same. These football trips we take are some of the greatest memories we will cherish forever. And it serves as a model for my kids, that when they become adults we can still make time to do fun things together.