“The Parenting Moments I’ll Never Forget”

From baby's first laugh to the joy of high school band concerts, here are some of the simple, unforgettable moments that parents will always remember. Some are so sweet, you might have to grab a tissue!

The moment baby is born

In Good Housekeeping, actress Mariska Hargitay shared the tender story of the birth of her adopted daughter Amaya:

“I basically pulled Amaya out,” she says. “Peter and I held her, and then the birth mother and I hugged for a long time. That was profound. That was one of the most meaningful moments I’ve ever had in my life."

First laughs

A SheKnows reader’s most magical moment with both of her sons was when they laughed for the first time: 

"You know, when their little itty bitty eyes water, and their heads fly back — mouths wide open — and they just cackle away."—Kris James

And first experiences

Actor Scott Wolf told Parenting about his favorite memory with his son: 

“His first time in the ocean. Jackson couldn't stop laughing and dancing around in the water. He breathes wonder into the simplest things. It's one of the many things he has taught me."

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Recitals and graduations

The folks behind the We Are Both Right blog share a few of the things that make them cry happy tears:

• Preschool graduation ceremonies where they sing songs you wouldn’t expect, like “I Believe I Can Fly”
• Dance recitals
• Solos at the school band concert

Experiencing nature

A favorite family memory from a  SheKnows Parenting reader:

"It was taking our foster kids to the beach for the first time. Their mouths dropped and they were speechless. Beth, who is 7, pointed and said, 'It never ends!'" —Morgan Bethell Whener

Daddy's home

Musician and former TV host Mark McGrath opened up to Parenting about the best part of being a father: 

“When I come home from a concert or tour, and they run at me full speed with saucer-shaped eyes and a guttural scream of happiness.”

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Gardening magic

A mom tells SheKnows Parenting that she loves gardening with her kids: 

"I maintained a garden for years before my kids were born," she says, and when they were old enough to show an interest in gardening, she got them involved. “Watching their faces delight in seeing something they planted come to fruition is priceless. We have countless talks, laughs, and even some tears in our little garden."—Barb Clayton, Syracuse, NY

Road trips with the boys

This story was a reader’s entry in Reader’s Digest's “Your Life: The Reader’s Digest Version” contest. 

“Two words–Road Trip! My sons and I traveled all fifty states. Every summer, we would take time off from our hectic schedule and see something new. The stars at night in Montana, the midnight sun in Alaska. New Orleans a week before Katrina hit. The Redwood Forest, the Rocky Mountains, Pearl Harbor, the Grand Canyon. Ground Zero the year after, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty. While all those things were a sight to see, what I really remember is us. CD’s burned for each trip. Something said that got repeated with much laughter the entire week. A Frisbee that went to all fifty states with us. Cards, dominoes, and S’mores. The boys, bigger each year, dutifully posing for pictures with grins on their faces, Just a family, doing what we do. My life? Love and Light and Laughter, courtesy of my three sons.”–Donna Adams

Everyday dinner

Cookbook author Laurie David writes about dinnertime in her book The Family Dinner:

"When I first discovered the importance of family dinner, I was at a stage in my life where I was desperate for fulfilling family moments. When I started looking at dinnertime as a gift in the day, I was rewarded with my most joyful parenting moments."

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