Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

The Perfect Moments That Memories Make

This past weekend, my husband and I took our son to the local waterpark for Father’s Day. I wanted the day to be perfect. Of course, perfect days don’t really exist except in memory, and almost-perfect days contain moments of worrying about when the back yard will get mowed and the seemingly endless other to-do’s. Even almost-perfect days often end with mysterious bug bites on our butts. Or, at least my butt.

Perfect days do exist in memory though. Maybe the filter of time helps us to forget the bug bites, the overpriced and less-than fabulous food, and the sunburn. Memory is kind that way.

I remember this day as being perfect

I remember a weekend, spent in the mountains at an eclectic hotel with a gigantic whirlpool tub.  I wore a backless party dress to dinner and felt beautiful, confident and loved. On my way to the hotel, I pulled over, parked my car on the shoulder of an unlit road in the mountains of Colorado, and got out to look at the sky. In that moment, I knew God and time and just how large and small each of us truly are. They were endless, those stars. Each time that I thought I was seeing all of them, more and more faded in until it seemed that even the tiny black spaces between them were peppered with more of them, although less bright. The layers felt folded, and soft. It felt like infinity was within reach.

Perfect memories only happen in hindsight

I’d forgotten that weekend until just now. I remember it as being perfect, although I know that it was not. Like I said, memory is kind that way.


The night that my son turned five years old and found the words to say “Thank you, fireworks.” That was a perfect night. I remember sitting there, my legs resting in the cool night’s sand, with my not-so-little-but-still-little little boy in my lap, snuggled against the ocean breeze, ooohing and aaahing as firework after firework amazed us. I felt utterly content. Complete.

Remember the moments

This year, the year that my son actually understands birthdays and regularly consults a calendar to see how far away his birthday is will be perfect, too. Even if it’s not. We plan to go on a trip, visit a waterpark, ride rollercoasters, and have messy sticky birthday cake with my husband’s family.

It’s likely that I’ll get stressed out, the weather will be too hot or too rainy or too humid, and my husband will annoy me. There will be spilled food, possible tears over having to actually leave the amusement park, and disappointing food. But really, none of that stuff matters. Because once we return home, I’ll forget the messes and instead remember the magic. That my little boy turned six, that we watched fireworks together, that he had an early party with friends prior to our trip, and that no matter what, we are family. He will know that he is loved. And that’s pretty perfect.


This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post, where writers and bloggers each finish the same sentence and link up to read one another’s answers. This week’s sentence is “Everything was perfect when…”
Your host: Kristi (me!) from Finding Ninee
And this week’s co-hosts are:
Jessica from Ramblings of an ADD Mommy
Kerri of (Un)Diagnosed But Okay
Michelle of Crumpets and Bollocks

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  • sara - Sounds perfect to me! (:June 26, 2015 – 1:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Really lovely post, my dear!June 26, 2015 – 3:37 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks so much Elizabeth! I hope you’re continuing to enjoy your awesome trip to Great Britain!June 26, 2015 – 8:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Erin Johnston - Oh I love your descriptions of memories of Tucker- it always paints a visual in my head!June 26, 2015 – 4:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerri - He will know that he is loved. You forgot that you know that you are loved as well. I cannot think of anything more perfect.June 26, 2015 – 4:26 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - True that, Kerri. There is nothing more perfect than the love we get from our kids. And the whining, and the whole “doing this wrong” feeling but yes! 😉June 26, 2015 – 9:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - Kristi, you write so beautifully. I was with you on that roadside in Colorado. I could see the sky. And as for the filter of memory, yes. And I needed to be reminded, because three week sin to our road trip – it’s anything but the best memory. But by September, this will all be magical.June 26, 2015 – 4:49 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Allie!! Thank you for mentioning the sky in Colorado. This post came hard for some reason but that part of it was always in mind. I love that you saw it. And yes, to your trip. It’s more amazing than not, and I send wishes and hopes that the crappy moments are soon forgotten.June 26, 2015 – 10:52 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - **In that moment, I knew God and time and just how large and small each of us truly are**

    Somebody once said, “Our purpose as a writer is to make people “FEEL.”

    You. Always. Make. Me. FEEL.

    This is MUCH appreciated, Kristi. xxxxJune 26, 2015 – 6:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - That is pretty perfect. Starry nights and fireworks are always AWEsome. I can’t believe those two pictures are just a year apart. He really looks like a big boy now, not a baby. I know you hate to hear that, I sure did. Even now – they go through stages.June 26, 2015 – 7:01 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kenya, I SO HATE TO HEAR that but yeah, I get it. He really is starting to look more kid-like and less baby-like. *sob* But it is how it is right? And yeah, starry nights and fireworks. AWEsome.June 26, 2015 – 10:55 pmReplyCancel

  • UP - Sounds perfect to me.June 26, 2015 – 8:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Blooming Autism - Beautiful Post 🙂June 26, 2015 – 8:56 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I never really thought about certain memories being perfect in retrospect. It’s really so true. I suppose we have some perfect moments interspersed between lots of imperfect moments, but our “kind” memories (I love how you describe memory as kind) help us remember the perfect ones.I’ve been thinking lately about summer vacations because I know a few families around here who have taken or are about to take “big” vacations with their kids to places like Italy and Israel. My first thought (after envy) is that my kids are usually such high-maintenance travelers that I wouldn’t want to spend the money on such a “big” vacation if they were going to whine, fight and complain the whole time. But maybe I wouldn’t remember that part of the trip and only the good moments — all five of them? (ha), Or, maybe other people’s kids are better behaved and they don’t worry about that crap? Food for thought…no “big” vacations planned for us anyway, but maybe someday….June 26, 2015 – 9:24 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Emily,
      I get your reluctance for the “big vacation” as my brother and his family have been planning a tip to Orlando for forever and invited us forever ago, but I’ve been reluctant to book anything because well for a lot of reasons that I know you get. xxooJune 26, 2015 – 11:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - Oh Kristi… I just love this so much. <3 Memory is kind that way, isn't it? Here's to more fireworks and stars, and perfect days.June 26, 2015 – 9:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandra - You continue to amaze me with your charming optimism. I remember reading your blog years ago (like 4-5 years ago?) and even then, in the midst of learning of your child’s autism and possible developmental delays, you were a shining star, like the ones you described in this post; a beacon of hope for those who also had children who would take a little longer to speak and point to the calendar knowing when their next birthday would be (that one is gonna suck, kinda). Your purpose on this earth continues to be about teaching your child AND those who haven’t quite figured out yet how far love, compassion, and endurance will take their children in this big ol’ world.June 27, 2015 – 12:38 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sandy – you are so so sweet! And yeah, this kid of mine is utterly inspiring really and a lot of the reason I started blogging in the first place (it’ll be three years in September). THANK YOU!June 27, 2015 – 6:08 pmReplyCancel

  • MJM - Awesome piece my friend, and so very true. Now I know there’s no such thing as a perfect day, one without any problems/issues whatsoever, but as cliche as it sounds the times spent with my family and friends were pretty darn close, regardless of what was happening around us.June 27, 2015 – 2:10 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - MJ! Thank you my friend and yeah, there are times that are pretty close to perfect for sure. xoJune 27, 2015 – 6:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - They really are perfect moments. Thank you for sharing them 🙂June 27, 2015 – 5:40 amReplyCancel

  • Patricia Elaine Brockett - You sound like such a wonderful and loving Mom. I know that you surely have some challenging days and nights. Your description of looking at the sky is so beautiful. I remember many times of looking up at the sky and feeling those same thoughts.June 27, 2015 – 10:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Memories are so kind that way! Every year we long for spring and summer, even though it’s sticky, hot and buggy and full of buggy diseases!
    I mostly remember the ice cream.
    I think knowing you are loved, and that you love, are pretty perfect indeed. Nothing better.June 28, 2015 – 12:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Julie Martinka Severson - LOVE, LOVE this Kristi. The image of your little guy thanking the fireworks sparked a certain something within me this morning and is going to stay with me for a long time.June 28, 2015 – 1:00 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly L McKenzie - Lovely memories! And the best part is that when Tucker is older he’ll look back and remember as well.June 28, 2015 – 1:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandy Ramsey - Sounds as close to perfect as any of us can hope to get. I think Tucker would probably agree. It’s a gift to be able to know that there were some less than perfect moments in a day, but be able to pull the spectacular memories forward making it all worth remembering.June 28, 2015 – 10:46 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sandy – so so true and I do believe that Tucker would agree. I hope his celebration this year is as special because last year’s was pretty perfect.June 29, 2015 – 5:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Mimi - Loved this Kristi! Two beautiful memories that show how hindsight enables us to embrace the good and let the rest dissolve. Love all the vivid details and beautiful language. You painted a couple of stunning pictures with your words. Thank you! xoJune 29, 2015 – 1:04 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Really? Thanks, Mimi! It felt disconnected but maybe that’s okay. Especially if you say so! xoJune 29, 2015 – 5:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Michele @ A Storybook Life - I love this sentiment – it’s so very true that the happiest parts of a day shine brightest in our memories of the day. Although remembering the less-happy parts can help us appreciate the good times all the more, too. In any case, I hope you and Tucker get lots and lots of fireworks this week, plenty of cake to go around, and no bug bites on the butt. 🙂June 29, 2015 – 9:47 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Michele,
      You’re right that the less-happy parts help us to appreciate the good. Thank you. And I hope your fourth of July is magical! (and also has awesome fireworks and no butt bugbites!)June 29, 2015 – 5:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Ana-Alesia V Hagins - Hi, my name is Ana-Alesia Hagins.

    I am a public relations intern for Giving Foundation for Children.

    GFC is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a platform for children with special needs to achieve self-sufficiency through awareness, support services and education.

    Our vision is to give every child the best foundation to transition into a responsible adult and citizen.

    I am writing you on behalf of the foundation because we believe that you demonstrate the qualities of an individual that we would like to partner with.

    We like to request promotion of our Super Mommy Essay contest on your blog. There will be prizes given to contest winners.

    To learn more about the Super Mommy Essay contest and/or GFC, please visit and/or feel free to email me at [email protected].

    I hope this message finds you well. Thank you.

    Best regards,
    Ana-Alesia HaginsJune 29, 2015 – 10:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - Yup, I think you’re right – all the details that might makes these things less than perfect fade. We’re left with the best of it all.July 1, 2015 – 7:00 pmReplyCancel

  • Rabia Lieber - I love how memories are more perfect in hindsight. I worry about too much while I’m supposed to be in the moment.July 7, 2015 – 7:41 pmReplyCancel

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