I love this series, because I have loved reading each and every one of these interviews! Everyone has had impressive parents, sweet kids, and in Meghan's case a great Grandma. I'm really impressed with the advice she gave Meghan, and how Meghan has used it to capitalize on her daughter Evelyn's childhood.
Hi there! I'm Meghan from Love Meghan | Little Notes. I'm a full-time copywriter by day, new wife, new mama and aspiring photographer living in Portland, Oregon. My 15-month-old daughter, Evelyn, is usually the subject of my amateur photography.
(I take so many photos of this poor girl; the other day I caught her alone in her playroom, holding my iPhone out in front of her face and saying cheeeeeese! through her toothy grin.)
What do you love most about your daughter?
I love that all she knows is happiness, innocence and friendliness. She's not yet aware of the pain the world can cause, so she has no reason to be sad or scared. She's always cheery. I love how she laughs at things adults don't find funny, like a duck plunging its head into the water over and over again.
Sometimes I forget to laugh at simple things like this, but she reminds me it's okay to laugh, that I should laugh, even if there are lots of people around and they look at me like I'm crazy.
I love that she says hi to everyone who walks by, whether we’re at the grocery store or strolling through the park. She reminds me to smile at strangers and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. She doesn't let me forget that the world is a beautiful place. That's what I love most.
What did you love doing with your family as a kid?
My family spends a couple weeks every summer in Ocean City, New Jersey, a quaint seashore community at the northern tip of Cape May County, in the heart of the Jersey Shore. We have so many memories there. My grandmother and great-grandparents lived in Ocean City most of their lives, so my dad and his siblings spent many childhood summers at the shore, working at restaurants or ice cream shops on the boardwalk when they were old enough.
When I was a kid, my favorite parts of our Ocean City vacations were biking on the boardwalk and riding the Ferris wheel and rollercoasters at the amusement parks.
What is the best lesson your parents taught you?
They taught me to be happy and hard-working. They weren't the kind of parents to reward me with money for getting good grades or let me borrow their credit card to go shopping or fill up the car. If I wanted to drive, I needed a job so I could pay for gas. If I wanted to go to college, I needed to take out some loans. They were always there with helping hands when I needed them (my dad taught me how to buy a car and how to apply for a job, and he paid for half of my college education), but they didn't do anything for me that I could do myself.
This taught me to be hard-working, independent and confident, while still feeling completely loved and supported. I wasn't thrilled about having to pay for gas as a 16-year-old, but I'm so thankful for it now.
Is there a story your parents like to tell about you as a kid?
Yes. When I was really young, maybe three years old, I used to report the weather. My parents tell me I'd look out the window and say, in my most weatherman-like voice, "Today, it's not tooooo sunny. Kiiiinda cloudy. Looks like rains a-comin' our way!" I guess everyone got a kick out of it.
How do you wish that Evie's childhood could be more like yours?
Since I grew up with two younger sisters who are close to me in age, I can't possibly imagine a childhood without two younger siblings.
When starting a family, some parents do what's convenient for them (waiting until the first child is four or five years old and completely out of the baby stage to have the second child, for instance), but I'm thinking about what will be most special for Evie.
I'm fine with having two kids in diapers if it means my kids will be friends growing up. I want Evie to be as close to her siblings as I was with my sisters.
As Evelyn grows, what do you already miss the most?
This question reminds me of my grandmother's answer to: What age did you like the most? What decade would you want to relive?
Her answer is always that she wouldn't want to relive any age or decade, that she doesn’t miss any of it. She's loved every single one of her 85 years, but she wouldn't want to do any of them over because this is the best time of her life. She lives in the now, not missing too much of the past or wondering too much about her future. She's inspired me to do that, too.
So, to answer your question, I don't miss much about Evelyn's first year because I feel like I took advantage of every second, and each day with her is better than the last.
Thank you, Meghan! So many good nuggets in there! Great life lessons from your parents, Grandma and sisters to pass on down to Evelyn, and I'm sure you were an adorable weatherman!
What was your favorite part? Do you feel like you do appreciate your life in the present?