Zia Hassan

Making Childhood Memories

You can’t really do it on purpose. A childhood memory that lasts forever seems to happen out of nowhere, a flash of lightning, an experience where novelty and curiosity come together so seamlessly it leaves you changed.

The first time I ever visited a good friend in the tiny town of Evanston, Wyoming, during high school we had a fantastic time going around the town, watching fireworks, playing video games, and talking to girls.

The next summer, we did it again, only it wasn’t the same. We tried to do the same stuff we did the previous summer, but re-creating the experience proved to be less interesting than having it spontaneously.

My son is going through a process of creating childhood memories now. The funny thing is that he doesn’t yet know which will become lasting memories, which of these curious and novel moments will shape the person he will eventually become. 

I’m excited to find out, one day, if any of the memories that were formative for me as a parent were also formative for him as a child.