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  • Possessions are not important, I try to tell them. It's memories that count. In years to come you will not remember whether you got the latest gadget or the fanciest game, but you will remember experiences both good and bad. If I can help more of them to be good than bad, my mission as a mother is done.

    So I try to create memories for them, based around the things they like. A visit to a dinosaur park instead of an art museum. Reenactment of trebuchet attacks instead of close examination of old ruins. A Pharrell Williams concert instead of more hard-core jazz at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

    But of course you can never know in advance just how good an experience will be. Rain may spoil your visit to the dinosaur park. The trebuchet demonstration may take too long to get started. Two hours of queuing and unbearable heat in the auditorium will sweat out your enthusiasm over the concert and turn it to fatigue.

    Sometimes both my children and I wish we could take the easy way out and just buy my way into their affection. Besides, are those memories I'm trying to create really for them - or for me?
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