When You Think About Events in YOUR Childhood What Stands Out?

Updated on April 27, 2014
S.H. asks from Santa Barbara, CA
24 answers

There is no right or wrong answer. I am just curious if you have best memories of family vacations (going to a lake or camping or even a fancy location)? Do you recall playing capture the flag with neighborhood kids or going to church retreats? Sports camps or sleep away camp for the summer? Did your birthday parties stand out because best friends showed up or grandparents or maybe a fun magician showed up and made it special? maybe a family reunion?

I feel like my extended family is lacking, so my kids will not experience the fun cousin family get together that I had. I can try to find friends who we bond with to make up for the lack of family.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

B-I loved road maps when I was a kid (heck even now).
Julie S.- You are right. I do not need to recreate the same exact memories for my kids, just help create great ones for them. My mom used to be a wonderful gardener before she passed away.

Featured Answers


answers from Grand Forks on

Summer road trips and camping trips. My siblings were grown and gone, so it was just me and my parents, and my parents always let me bring a friend for company. I also loved going away to sleepaway camp. I started going when I was eight, and I felt so independent. My family also did lots of picnics in the summer, at the park or out in the country. We had a special dinner every Sunday night. I didn't have any cousins my age, and I never missed them.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

The neighborhood kids.
Playing OUTSIDE from morning to night, only coming in for lunch or dinner then back out til we got called home.
Beach vacations withy cousins.
Living next door to my very best friend--who is still my best friend, 50 years later.
Lunch boxes (real ones)
Ghost in the graveyard.
Pop radio, poolside.
I think my earliest memory is a car trip to the beach, so young my "spot" was the floor behind the drivers seat.
Riding the waves on rafts.
Boating with my dad & fishing.
school picnics at local amusement parks

Mostly my mom--holding it all together. Don't moms always?
Everybody hug their mom! I know I'm gonna!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The first thing that comes to my mind is playing in a pool that was for the employee's where my dad used to work. It's the only time I remember my dad being playful with me. So sad, but true! My dad would let me get on his shoulders and let me jump off them into the pool! I loved that! I grew up in a very emotionally and physically abusive family, but grateful right now to have that wonderful memory with my dad! I'm also grateful S. that you asked this question today, because I still struggle with my past and having that memory of my dad has helped me feel much better!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Norfolk on

In 1976 we did a 6 week cross country driving vacation in a 76 Chevey Malibu station wagon.
We went counter clockwise starting in New York, saw the mid west, The Corn Palace,The Badlands of South Dakota, Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone, San Fransisco (crossed the Golden Gate Bridge), the giant sequoias, San Diego (we were visiting relatives there), the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, it took up 4 days of driving to cross Texas, Wall Drug, and I can't remember where we crossed the Mississippi before we turned north and headed home again.
My sister and I were too young to help with the driving on that trip - our Mom did it all.
We used AAA Trip Ticks (no GPS back then) and road maps.
It was fantastic!
I get nostalgic every time I hear "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota"!


8 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I love this question. I loved our neighborhood and all of the kids we played with. All day long outside. There were a lot of crazy things that we all went through together. We all pretty much all attended school together from 1st -graduation. Our parents were friendly with each other. Sleep overs with neighborhood kids or school friends.

I was in Girl Scouts and in third grade my best friend/neighbor and I sold Enough cases to o attend 2 weeks of girls out camp! It was awesome.

I loved seeing my grandparents almost every weekend. I loved holidays when all of my cousins would meet up at my grand mothers house. All of the birthday party's when all of the families came together.

When the women of the famililies got together to make tamales in my grandmothers kitchen. Or when the men had been hunting and came back and processed the animals in the back yards.

We went on small vacations around the state. Fairs, amusement parks. And then one year we drove with friends to Guadalajara, Mexico. It was like an adventure! Then another year we drove all the way to California and back.

My father worked for the Post Office and joined a men's group, every summer they held a big picnic cook out at a city park that lasted all day!

When my parents divorced, my mom joined a lot of single parents groups, we had fun going to their activities too.

We always attended the free movies in the parks, free concerts, loved the library, the book mobile! the local swimming pools or swimming holes.

Honestly, I had no idea how tight money was back then, I was raised not with things, but with experiences. We always took our own food and drinks if we were going anywhere. We knew the drill. We will not be buying food or drinks, so pick out what you want from home! We did our own parties at home, just playing games in the yards. Store bought cake ice cream and punch with some snacks. It was just the way it was, we were not embarrassed or put out by it, we thought it was what everyone did.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

What stands out to me are our family vacations (not extended family, just my siblings and my parents). We went somewhere new every summer. We camped so it wasn't too expensive, and we drove to all the locations (yes, we drove from Pennsylvania to California and back, several times in fact).

My family didn't have a lot of $ and going on vacation always meant a sacrifice in some other area, but my mom always said "What are the kids going to remember when they are adults, the summer we got a new bathroom, or the summer we went to Yosemite (or Yellowstone, or Disney, or Nashville, or whatever)?" She was right. We made some great memories on those trips.

By the way, I grew up without extended family around, and I didn't feel deprived one bit as a child or an adult. It has never occurred to me that I should feel deprived because of it. I had a great childhood.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Richland on

I loved being with my family but really the first thing that pops out when I was a kid was my grandma's garden. It is probably the biggest reason why I garden with my kids.

I doubt your kids are lacking because they don't have cousins to party with. When they look back there will be special things, they will just be different from your memories.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


It's not just one memory, but several...it was just the five of us as my dad was US Navy and we really didn't have family around us. Flying to Hawaii was not cheap in the 70's....(oops, I'm dating myself!! LOL!)

1976 - we just moved back to the mainland from Hawaii, we were in Seattle for the 4th of July - it was an AWESOME fireworks show that year!!

My parents owned a motor home. My dad worked for a company that sponsored Rick Mears (the Indy driver) and we got in-field tickets and was able to drive our motor home on to Ontario Motor Speedway and sit on top of our motor home and watch the races...

And we owned ATVs and a dune buggy!!! We would go to Glamis (near the Mexico border) and up to Pismo Beach to ride as well.

Right now? We have NO FAMILY near us. My husband's parents are both dead. My mother in law died on Mother's Day 2006. My father in law died last March. His sisters live 8 hours by car from us in either direction.

My family? My mom died in September 2013. My dad, sister and brother all live in California. We are a tight-knit family - still.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

My best memories are of the family road and camping trips we took. We would camp a lot on weekends or for weeks at a time- we'd swim, play and take fun day trips. I also have fond memories of the house on the lake my parents used to rent every year when we were kids. I have good memories of playing in the backyard with my brother and friends from school. My best friend and I used to ride our bikes all over the place. I also attended sports and sailing camps for a couple weeks every summer- great memories. My mom held all my bday parties at home and invited all the girls in the class, always fun. I also used to LOVE to sleepover my grandmother's house. We did get together with cousins mainly on holidays, that was nice but not what stands out for me.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My mom won tickets to ride on the Goodyear blimp here in Houston in the early 1970s. We flew over my elementary school and my classmates came out. What a blast.

We moved to Rio de Janeiro when I was a kid. Lived there 3 years. Remember all the parties my parents had at our apartment, trips we took.

Hunting "big foot" with my brother and cousin. It was actually my dad and uncle in the woods making noises. But boy was that fun and scary!!!

All my great memories involve my parents. We moved so much and never lived near family. So we were the 4 amigos. =) Camping trips, all the stupid "educational" vacations (Erie Locks anyone?) Family reunions, rolling in the grass with my mom when we found out we were moving to Houston.

Wow!!! Got a little teary eyed thinking about some of this. Mom has Alzheimers now so she is basically gone.

I enjoyed remembering those times, especially Big Foot! Good times and great question!!!! =)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Catching tadpoles, play capture the flag and kickball in the field across the street...lots of memories of running free outside.....

Scrambled eggs and bacon on Xmas morning...making sugar cookies while dad put together the tree --when the ends of the branches weren't attached, so fake trees took all day to put together.

Going to girlscout camp, and dreading spending the night...still feeling homesick as a tween, and having a terrific best friend that would talk to me until I fell asleep.

I have limited memories of cousins. They lived far away. My memories where are more often of the long car ride to get to where the rest of the family lived.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Most of the things that stand out for me are memories with my whole family or certain brothers or sisters, not with cousins. We did have some good times with some of them, but we didn't see them often. I'm sure your kids will have their own memories which stand out for them. You can always make it special for them.

Lots of times the things that stand out most are the simple bonding times, doing things together. Like sewing together, story time at a certain time, certain kinds of stories, especially story telling. One thing that stands out for me was my grandmother's gardens and gardening with her and seeing her interest in plants of all kinds.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Sadly most of my family memories are not happy ones, but I have many fond memories of my childhood in Iowa: catching lightning bugs at twilight, climbing trees and playing in the woods, riding my bike and roller skating, winning a county wide art contest in the fourth grade, collecting bottles with my friends and turning them in for candy money, sledding and snowball fights in the winter, going to Girl Scout camp, spending the night at my grandma's house.
My kids are having the opposite experience. They have LOTS of cousins and aunts and uncles (I married into a big family, on purpose I think!) but because we live in kind of an isolated area with few children nearby they haven't had the kind of freedom to roam and play the way I did as a kid, and that makes me kind of sad. But they have gotten to travel, extensively, their wholes lives because my husband and I love to travel and are fortunate enough that we can afford to do it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

So many hours running around free outside! We lived in Black Forest Colorado with no close neighbors. I mainly remember everything about nature...the sunlight at different times of day on the dirt, the woods, the meadows, the flowers, the animals, riding bikes....it was great!!! I had one brother and no close relatives we would trek miles to friend's houses with no adult chaperones!! Later I lived on an Air Force Base and had a blast in the "neighborhood" with neighborhood kids. My parents both worked full time and none of my friends had "hover parents" either. All my good memories are about freedom and playing with kids...I try to remember that for my kids and let them off the leash as much as possible...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

All of my absolute favorite childhood memories come directly from my
mom & dad!
The trips they cook us on (camping AND the fun hotel trips).
Mom making us lunch after swimming.
Bbq's in the backyard
Sunday road trips
holidays (mom decorated, made fun cakes)
dad teaching us to ride bikes
dad taking us fishing
dad teaching us how to drive, put gas in the car, check the air pressure
in the tires
My birthdays stand out because my mom made special cakes, decorated
with a theme (had them at home or the park)
getting together with friends when I was 13-15 (going to ice cream places
for each others' birthdays, shopping at the mall etc)
watching old movie tapes in our living room
all of our dinners where we sat down together (sis & I fighting for the
special chair)
mom helping us make a lemonade stand to sell the lemonade
garage sales she'd have
letting us play with friends on our street
taking us to parades
celebrating every holiday
going to watch fireworks
taking us to the fair
going out to dinner sometimes
They gave us the best childhood (safe/fun/taught us well)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Running around completely unsupervised from about the age of 5 with all the neighborhood kids. We had lots of adventures.

My kids lived such a sterile life in comparison, but most kids don't run around outside these days. :(

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I was an only child, well, I still am...lol! So I remember playing with my dog in the back yard as well as my best friend who lived down the street. We were outside constantly. I also remember taking school breaks and summer vacations with my grandparents. We would drive to all the west coast states and visit various family members. We'd be gone anywhere from a couple weeks to the entire summer. I was extremely close to them as my mom was a single parent and busy doing her own thing. I also remember a lot about going to church (my grandparents would pick me up every Sunday and eat out afterward). And I remember going to bible camp every year from the first year I was eligible all through high school. One of my favorite things now is road trips. =0)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It has been so much fun thinking about this, and reading everyone's answers.

I spent half of my childhood in MI where I remember playing outside ALL day long in the summer. I'd wake up, eat breakfast, and my mom would quickly braid my hair while 5-7 neighborhood kids would be waiting for me on the front porch. We'd run the neighborhood. I'd play til lunch, and then again til dinner, and again until it started getting dark. Then I knew I'd have to race home.

I remember the 4th of July picnics at my grandma's house, then we'd all head up to the town's high school and watch the fireworks.

I didn't see my cousins often because they lived out of state, but when they were at my grandma's we'd all walk up town with just my Grandma while the moms stayed home and relaxed.

When we moved to IL when I was 8, and things were a lot different for me. There were no kids my age to play with in my neighborhood. We had no family here. Our holidays were just the 4 us, and then when I was 13, my brother died so it was just the 3 of us and super lonely.

I remember being in the house a lot watching TV. In the summer, my mom would let me and my brother walk up to the local pool by ourselves. We had a pool pass sewn on to our swimsuits. I played soccer for the park district, and I remember they had a chuck wagon that sold hot dogs, and we'd get one after our games.

As for birthday parties, yes, they were almost always at home and they were small. I didn't know any different and thought it was great.

My kids are having quite a different experience. They have never been able to run free in the neighborhood because it's not safe. They have planned and structured playdates. We have big family holidays and they have cousins to grow up with. Almost all of their birthday parties are at a venue.

I wish things could be simpler for them. I hate that they can't just go out and play like I did, and that so much of their lives are micromanaged. I hate the technological devices and the worries and policing that does along with that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

You don't have to have extended family to make memories for your kids.
I did grow up having a lot of my family nearby and did spend a lot of time doing things together. There are some great memories! But there are also memories that are quite awkward. I didn't have the same things in common with my cousins, even though we spent a lot of time together and we were all very close in age.
I have fantastic memories of just my immediate family, my parents and sibling. We did a lot together, just the 4 of us. I remember my mom teaching me to sew for instance.
Do what you can with your family. They don't have to have the same experiences as you in order to have special memories. Special memories come in all places.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

It's nice to see that alot of us share the same childhood memories...catching lightening bugs (we used to pull the lights off and stick them to our ears for earrings...gross right!! playing outside from morning till night only stopping to eat lunch and dinner...visiting family in other states(we would come to Nashville every other summer and they would come to DC every other summer)...rollerskating and riding bikes, playing in the snow until we were almost frozen...we used to play kickball in the alley behind our houses. We didn't care how hot or cold it was outside....my father grilling in the backyard or taking us the the Wharf for crabs and shrimp, yumm!!!! Girl Scouts every Saturday morning from 10-12!!! climbing the neighbor's cherry trees and eating cherries until we got sick...We would walk through the graveyard every Halloween, for what? IDK...Oh to have those days back again!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Going to the cabin with my family. Jumping in a river with my mom.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

none of my childhood memories have cousins around. being outside for hours at a time, riding my red bike, playing with friends, and sumer long vacations to greece. my kids don't have cousins growing up with. they can't go outside for hours without supervision. i am always with them. they have different memories, but i hope they're even better than mine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

What stands out for me, is what I did with my own parents.
Not it being about my relatives or cousins or whatnot. At all.



answers from Grand Rapids on

I really don't remember my childhood. It was not a good one in most ways.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions