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“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
, actress Mariska Hargitay shared the tender story of the birth of her adopted daughter

“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.”

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.”

Gardening magic

A mom tells SheKnows
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

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.”
Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest