Alright, I can't be stopped. Maybe this is my "nesting instinct" -- only rather than actually getting anything orderly or cleaned, I am frantically blogging everything that might ever need to be blogged. Ha! Oh well, usually I kind of worry about putting things down you will all want to read, but suddenly this "memoir" business has me thinking of all these little tiny tiny memories (most not necessarily "memoir" worthy), but I am panicked to get them all down before they are gone!! So, whether they are read or not I am unconcerned with. I am on a memory mission.
I was talking with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law about memories the other day. We were discussing how sad it is that we remember so little from when we were young as well as pondering why we do remember some of the seemingly insignificant or at least random moments from our youth. For example, I grew up knowing only one grandparent. My mom's dad and my dad's mom died before I was born, and my dad's dad died before I was two. Still, I have this tiny memory/image in my mind of him. Sometimes I doubt its reality because it is fuzzy and I would have only been about 1 1/2. Still, I am standing in the doorway of the little apartment in my parent's basement -- the apartment we currently sleep in -- and I am looking rather apprehensively at my grandpa Thatcher who is sitting at the foot of his bed (much as Penny looks at her own grandpas in this very cautious stage of her life). He is coaxingly holding up a small piece of wrapped candy. That's it. Why would I remember that? Yet I don't see why my brain would make it up, and my grandpa did stay in this apartment prior to his death. I don't recall if I was bold enough to go and get the candy or if I toddled back off, but there it is.
Marnie (my sister-in-law) and I were also talking about some of the things our kids do seem to clearly remember even though they were very young. For example, when Daisy was two and Abe was three, we stayed at a hotel on the beach in CA. At night, TONS of rabbits would come out. One night we heard little Abe and Daisy giggling away in their room. We peaked in and found that Daisy had climbed out of her pack-n-play. She and Abe were sitting on the low windowsill of their hotel room looking out at all the rabbits. They were giggling so happily that we didn't have the heart to put them back to bed for a long time. They seem to remember this very clearly, and I wonder if they simply think they remember the story well because we've told it to them so often, or maybe do actually remember it for that very reason -- it has been kept in their mind by its retelling.
Anyway this also made me think of stories about me from when I was little that I don't actually remember. I know them simply because someone else recorded them. My mom has a journal entry about what a great helper I was with her peach canning one day. Apparently I faithfully did seven bottles in the time it took her to do 77. I like that I know how slowly and steadily I helped with canning -- completing one bottle for each of her 11.
My dad often tells me of the time he came home to find me up on the counter in the sugar bowl. Apparently I'd been warned many times. When I saw him I said, "But daddy! I don't even want to be up here!"
My older sister Amy has a journal entry about driving out of our driveway and then pausing to ask a lone little me what I was up to. I was apparently sitting on the curb -- barefoot and disheveled (as I think we often were) and looking a little lonely. She asked what I was doing and I replied, "Ah, nothin' just holding a potato bug." She kindly asked to see it only to have me respond a little embarrassed, "It's just an old dead one."
I love that somewhere someone would have written some little things that I don't remember about my childhood, and it has reinforced in me how good it is for us to write the little stories about the things our kids do and say. Chances are they won't remember much of it, and will love to hear it down the road some day. In fact, one of my kid's very favorite things is for me to pull out my little book of silly things they have said to read to them. They think it is the greatest thing in the world to hear about how funny or clever they were.
Anyway, I'm not done, oh no, but done for a minute anyway.