Thursday, February 26, 2009

Moments of memory

The other night I picked up Brody from school a bit earlier than usual, and it was still light outside. This was quite unusual for Brody, and he was telling me how "night time coming," and asking "where moon?" etc.

We were in the car driving, and I was explaining to him that when the sun sets, the moon rises, and then it's nighttime. I was having a distinct Profound Parenting moment, and really felt that this was A Moment in Brody's life: how he learned about sunsets and moon rises.

Until he asked me from the back seat, "What you talkin' 'bout, mommy?"

Obviously, I was alone in my Profundity (yeah, I had to look it up).

It got me thinking at what stage and what age a child remembers. And what my favorite childhood memories are, and what Brody's will be.

My favorite memories of my parents are jumping into my mom's arms on the stairwell landing in the house on Hawthorne. I'd stand on the top step, she'd be about 3-4 steps below on the landing. I'd fling myself at her, and she'd catch me. I think I was about 2.

With my dad, my favorite memory are falling asleep on top of him after I cut my arm open climbing the chicken wire fence in our backyard and had stitches (no, we didn't have chickens and I'm not sure why we had chicken wire). I think I was about 4 or 5? (Mom? Sisters? Anyone know when Eric graduated high school?)

Another memory of my dad is when I broke my leg in first grade (yes, I was a bit accident prone. In my defense, Chris Osborn dared me to jump off the slide at Mason. I, being a clever lass, told him he had to go first. He did and landed in a giant mud puddle. I knew I'd catch hell for being muddified, so when I jumped, I jumped past the mud puddle, and therefore, farther than he did. Hence, fractured leg. But I didn't get muddy). Anyway, I actually remember this episode quite a bit because of dealing with Brody and his challenges using his hands and arms.

My elementary school was two floors, with no elevators. When I had the thigh high plaster cast, I refused to use my crutches. I was scared. As a result, my dad carried me up and down the stairs at Mason and at home, for I don't know how long.

One night, at home, I was in our living room. I had to go to the bathroom. Really bad. I asked my dad to take me.

I was, naturally, outraged. I had to pee!! Bad! He told me to use my crutches if I had to go so badly.

Fuming about his betrayal, I did it. Slowly, but surely, I walked myself to the bathroom. And I was so proud of 8 year old myself.

But it wasn't a favorite moment of mine until I had Brody. Now that I'm a parent of a child with no radius bones and 8 fingers, I think a lot about that moment, when my father made me, literally, walk on my own two feet and how hard that must have been for him.

And that example has guided me at times when I have made Brody, literally, use his own two hands to accomplish a task, even when all I wanted was to just do it for him.

(I just cannot write a short post, can I?)

So my question is, what are the moments of your childhood that you remember or think about most? If you have had children, have your favorite memories changed?


Robyn said...

I can't remember back as far as you can. I'm going to have to ponder this question and get back to you.

confirmation: tardess.

Jacque said...

Chris, your posts are so full of thought. (Love "what are you talkin'bout" LOL. Makes me think of Willis from Different Strokes.)

I remember sitting at the table with my Dad very early one morning before he went to work. He was eating breakfast and I sat on his lap. We played with a little Mr. Bubbles puppet. I have very fond memories of my gentle kind dad (he's still that way) and it's funny because he recently told Danny how he had regrets about how he handled some things with me when I was young. I also remember being sick in the night when I was around 8 or so and him getting up with me just to make sure I was okay.

I remember once walking in a deep snow with my Mom. I fell face first in the snow and she had me stay right there while she went and got the camera. When I came home from school every day Mom would have my Hollie Hobbie tray in front of the tv with a snack so I could watch Little House on the Praire. When I got home Laura was running through the field of flowers and the opening song was playing. When I was six I broke my leg very badly. I was in three different casts for almost a year. Mom was pregnant but carried me almost everywhere.

I have plenty more memories and I don't think they've changed since I've had children. However, some memories make me want to recreate those special times with them.

Dayna said...

I love your post. Consequently I was thinking of memories the other day for Samantha. Like, what fond memories will she be recalling one day? Have I done something already to cause a good memory? I hope so.

I remember when I was like 6 or 7, my dad sorta dressing up like Santa and going outside my bedroom window and ho ho ho'ing with a backlight. I really believed it was Santa and now that I know better, I cherish that memory since it was such a cool thing to do. There are more but that would require more in depth thinking on my part and I am tired!

You are so creative in your posts and I love learning new vocabulary!

SaRaH said...

I'm with tardess. Must go ponder.

Cindy said...

I remember the day my brother was born. I was almost two when that happened, so I guess that's the earliest memory I have. I remember a few days later when I was introduced to my baby brother, I was mad because my dad said I had to share my stuff with the baby.

Thinking about that day makes me think to myself that my daughter is definitely old enough to remember anything that happens now. I try to make sure that she has happy memories.

Jacque said...

I was thinking more about this and wondering if good or bad memories stick with us longest. I remember so vividly the day my brother died (of SIDS). I was ten years old but I remember very small details about that morning and the events to follow. However, I don't remember the day he was born, or the day my sister was born. I have more detailed memories of that tragic time than I do of good memories.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I also remember the day my brother was born, being called downstairs to see him come through the door. I also remember daring him to stick his finger between the keys of xylophone and smashing them closed. Whoops!

Christine said...

These are great memories! I hope we've all given our kids good ones already. And they forget the bad ones.

Jacque, I wonder too if we remember good or bad memories more. Maybe it depends on the person.

Patti, bad sister!