What You’ll Find in the Cracks of My Brain
What is your earliest memory? They say you can remember things from as early as 18 months. I think “they” are liars. I’ve been told numerous times that I have an incredible memory. And while that may be partially true, I definitely can’t remember things that happened before I turned 2! They also say that you remember things that made an impact on you. Things that scared you, caused you pain, made you extremely happy, things you loved, etc. The good things bring us special joy. We think, “I hope my kids make forts in the living room!” Or “I hope my kids love playing with homemade play-doh the way I did!” Do you think those things?
When I was little, my mom sold Tupperware. I don’t specifically remember this, but I do remember having access to every size and shape and color I desired. As long as that color was either mustard, orangey brown, brown, or red. There was a small brown container that I kept in my room. Imagine the size and shape of those tiny cokes, short and squatty. I don’t remember how old I was but I had to be under 6 since this happened when we lived in our old house. Each night my parents would tuck us in and say our prayers. Sometimes I’d go into my brother’s room as my mom was sitting on his bed listening to him talk about something that was boring to me and I’d pick off all of the little pills from the backside of his comforter. I kept a collection of these tiny white balls in my Tupperware. Haven’t we talked about me being a hoarder before? I don’t particularly hope my children tear apart their siblings’ possessions, but I do hope they find joy in small collections. Little trinkets or toys that have some special (and probably odd) meaning to them.
I also hope my kids use their imagination when they play outside. I remember making pictures with sidewalk chalk, building houses for snails out of shoeboxes, going on adventures in the backyard, and making up rollerskating routines. These things obviously meant a lot to me because I can still remember them vividly.
Books also made quite an impact. Don’t you remember the amazing stories about the Berenstain Bears? With their long finger nails and their super cool house? I can remember loving the Amelia Bedelia books and the Dr. Seuss books. And Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. All great books! So great that there are TWO movies out right now that are based on children’s books. (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Where The Wild Things Are, for those of you living under a rock.)
My brother loved turtles when he was a baby. Seeing as I was negative 2 years old when he was a baby, I’m having a hard time remembering this. But I’m told by my mother and my brother that he loved turtles. We even had this really cute turtle sprinkler. It was really cheap. Just a plastic turtle with a hole in the butt area to screw the water hose into. The top of the turtle (also known as the shell) had holes in it. It was great. We’d jump over it and giggle and then jump back over. It wasn’t fancy, it didn’t turn or swivel, it just sprayed. But we loved that thing. Maybe because it was a turtle, or maybe because it was a sprinkler and all kids love sprinklers. Who knows?!
My sister-in-law is pregnant. She’s due in early January so there is quite an excitement buzzing around the family. A few weeks ago she went to register for all of her baby loot and my mom and her mom went along. As they were wandering the aisles my mom spotted a stuffed turtle. She melted. She HAD to buy this for baby Avery. Since Avery’s dad has such a love for turtles, certainly she would too. When my mom saw my brother she showed him, “Look what I found!” He smiled and said, “Tuh tuh!”
We hold onto these things yall! The collections, the books, the activities, the hours in the sprinkler. We keep these memories in a special place and every now and then they are resurfaced. When I have a child I want to bake homemade chocolate chip cookies and let them cool on unfolded brown paper grocery bags that are spread all over the kitchen table. I want my child to hold onto Stephen’s hands and crawl up his body and flip around just like I did with my dad.
Maybe this is a way of holding onto our youth. We feel like we are reliving these activities. Or maybe we just really want to see our children giggle and smile and learn. Whatever the case, I have high hopes for my kids! I can’t wait to meet them and learn them and listen to them recite “Caps! Caps for sale!” as they pretend to read it.
What about you? What memories do you cling onto that you hope your children can experience?
My lovely blog friend, Jill was responsible for this post. I told you the two words seemed easy. They weren’t! Leave your next two words in the comments.