There are things in my life, so far, that I know I'll never forget. I have the memory of an elephant (how exactly do we know they have awesome memories, and why??) and some of it is just such a waste of brain space. Other things, well, they are just priceless. I will spare you the details of stupid songs I know the words of, or how I remember all of the states, or why I know how to get candle wax out of carpet. But here are some of the more unforgettable things I remember:
~My 2nd Christmas-I woke up early to the sound of a baby crying. A baby doll, that is. I remember walking into the living room of our apartment, and seeing a small bright pink and yellow doll stroller. Inside, was a baby doll that cried and said 'Mama'. I remember the tree being lit up, and I remember the glow it gave off in the darkened living room.
~Playing the card game 'War' with my great grandmother, 'Grandma Les'. She was wonderful. She let me win, but not without a fight. I don't remember her face as clearly as I used to, but I remember her smile. She was a beauty.
~Going to Disney with my grandmother when I was 12. She rode a roller coaster with me, one that was in a darkened warehouse-type place. And she screamed pretty much the whole time. Well, this scream-giggle combination. The images are blurry on that roller coaster, because I had to hold my stupid glasses so they wouldn't fall off.
~My grandmother's hands. Her knuckles. How they were snarled and smooth at the same time.
~Sitting in front of my father's stereo with him, at age 3 or 4, listening to Billy Joel, ELO, The Eagles, The Doors, and Elton John, to name a few. I know just about any song by all of the above, and sooo much more, and I learned them all from him. We would sing at the top of our lungs, sitting on the floor. Yes, I knew the words to dozens of songs by the age of 3.
~I've blogged about this before, but: when my foster brother left to go to his adoptive home. The sound of him saying 'Mommy', over and over.
~That sound was repeated in another situation, from my real brother, at age 7, after my mother and father divorced.
~Hiding under the covers in my parents' bed while my father got ready for work in the mornings, at age 3.
~The smell of my father's aftershave and the feel of his scruffy mustache as he kissed me goodbye each morning, after finding me hiding under the covers.
~The mixture of smells in my grandmother's house when I was 4, 5, and 6: cooking bacon, brewing coffee, noxema, listerine, and frying eggs. All from my grandfather.
~Sitting next to my great-grandfather in front of his piano, as he played for and sang to me. He was a talent, and I remember every physical feature about him, even now. He was such a kind soul. My father now has that piano, and I hope to one day have it.
~The time my grandmother's cat was missing in action all day. We called for her in the cellar, upstairs, in the attic, out in the backyard, the vegatable garden, the garage. My grandmother even walked around with the electric can opener, hoping that would convince Minerva to show up. Finally, we found her lying in my grandmother's tomato plants. She had fallen out the 2nd story window, by leaning too heavily on a window screen, and landed in the garden. Her tail was battered, one ear was ripped and bleeding, and her whiskers and face were covered in dirt and dust. She smelled like tomato plants. And wow, was she cranky after that fall!!
~My Nana making me a whole box of Kraft Mac'n'Cheese, and then letting me eat E.L. Fudge cookies even though I didn't eat the entire box of mac.
I could go on and on. In fact, I am pretty sure I will be dedicating a few posts over the next few days to some pretty big memories.
I am a big believer in the fact that our experiences do shape us, all throughout our lives, not just in childhood. You can learn a lot about a person by what he finds to be significant in his childhood. What have you learned about me so far? And please, tell me: what memories do you have?
to be continued....