When my mom was only 13-years-old, her mother died after a painful battle with cancer. Her father got remarried to a woman who, to put it mildly, was not the warm and fuzzy type. When my mom left for college, her stepmother got rid of all of my mom’s personal treasures. All of them. So I don’t have her blanket. I don’t have her stuffed animal. I don’t have the t-shirts she loved. I don’t have her camp letters. It’s not surprising, then, that these personal family mementos would take on significance to me and be a driving force behind the founding of Savor. My mom never pushed me too hard to edit my treasures because she knew the pain of losing them all.
Lacking almost anything from her childhood, my favorite treasures are from my own. One is something my mom created, and one is something that I created. The first is a letter that I discovered pretty recently. It’s one she wrote when my twin sister and I were just over a year. Even though she’s describing our eating habits and temperaments as babies, she could have written it last year because it’s so dead on about our personalities today. This one-page letter tells me more about myself than my whole baby book of statistics (which is fairly detailed considering we were second children and twins to boot!).
The other treasure is my collection of travel journals. I created them when I was on big trips, including my first airplane trip to California, then on bigger trips, like to Israel and France. When I was 6 on the California trip, they were mostly pictures and some rough descriptions. Around third grade, they became more lists cataloging things we did (First we went here, then we went there.)
As I got older, they got more sophisticated, more about my reactions to what I was seeing, less of a tourist brochure. I remember the trips I made these journals on more than other trips I took, even though I was much older. I loved reviewing them when I was growing up, as they instantly transported me back to whatever magical place I had visited.
As a grown up, I love sharing them with my kids. We can’t ever put ourselves in our kids’ shoes entirely, but capturing my own feelings experiencing the thrill of travel for the first time-- finding a great bakery, seeing a beautiful garden, and, yes, even visiting art museums--reminds me what things are exciting when you’re a kid. It makes more sense to me why the success of a trip can be directly proportional to the proximity of the gelato stand to our hotel. And seeing the world through my young eyes builds their anticipation about travel all the more.
We want to know what your favorite keepsakes are, from your childhood and your own kids.