The steering wheel

Memories mold our lives.

I always find it amazing how little, often insignificant, things bring a flood of memories that will affect us for the rest of the night. This evening was just such a time.

When I was little, I wanted SO MUCH to drive. (WHAT happened??) My dad made a steering wheel for me by putting a wheel on an axle and sticking that somehow into a block. I could sit behind my dad and steer my car to the left or right, wherever my daddy was going. I’d watch where he put his hand, how much he’d turn the wheel and mimic him completely.

One thing he did was held the steering wheel along the top part of the wheel with his right hand. Periodically he would raise his wrist and lower it again. For years I never knew why.

Are we modeling what we’ve seen?

Tonight, as I was coming home from dropping several children somewhere, I found myself repeating that motion: my hand on the top of the steering wheel and lifting my wrist then dropping it again. Of course, the reason for this action was to see the speedometer. But I found tears welling up in my eyes as countless memories of my daddy came flooding to my heart, including that we (my sisters and I particularly) called him Daddy until well into our 20s and would still, even much later, refer to him that way to one another without noticing. Although we spent a lifetime afraid of him, there was still such a fondness in our affection for him. Isn’t that an odd incongruity?

It made me think about what kinds of memories I’m making with my children. My father had NO idea that this little movement of his wrist while he drove was going to affect my heart 50 years later. I want my insignificant things to be treasures of joy for my children but I want there to be a much greater number of significant things that will be wonderful memories for their lifetime.

What memories do YOU hold that bring joy or laughter from your childhood? What memories are you MAKING for your children to bond you together into the coming generations?

All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
Unless otherwise indicated, photos from

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