Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Weight of Memory

When I was a child, my mother threw a brush in the family camp shower and broke it.

When I was a child, I got lost in the mall. My mother spanked me when she found me. And then cried and hugged me.

When I was a teenager, deep in the throes of a bitch fight with my older sister, my mother called us both bitches.

When I was a child, my mother put my hair in a pony tail every day. She twisted the tail before securing it with a band. I believed this made it more secure.

When I was a child, we made pies for every holiday. I would sit in the kitchen and watch as my mother rolled out the crust, pressing it into the pie plate, trimming the edges. She always gave me the extra dough.

When I was a child, we had a nightly ritual of cuddling, one-on-one with my mother. She never turned down a cuddle request. And it was the first thing she did when we were cranky.

When I was a teenager, trapped in my own angst, my mother decided that what I needed was not medicine or hospitalization, but hugs. And chocolate. She renamed Hershey’s Kisses to Hershey’s Hugs, so I could have hugs while she was away.

What are the memories that my children will hold when they have grown and gone on?

Will Rory remember that I yelled at him when he wouldn’t try his first karate class? Will Brigit remember the times our wills clashed and we were both crying? Will they remember every time that I have been too stressed to parent them beyond food and shelter?

Or will they remember the hugs, the stories, the silly faces. Swinging on the tire swing at the castle park? Dancing to Mambo Italiano in the kitchen?

What we remember, and what we forgot, are our stories – each has its own weight.

1 comment:

Sarah A. said...

Wow. Vivid memories, and good questions. I don't know what my kids will remember either - and there have been days here that are "food and shelter" days. I pray that I will make better memories, and that God will help them remember the good parts that are already there.