Memories are slippery little buggers. The memory that is mine cannot be yours. Just as my understanding of what chocolate tastes like and what purple looks like is mine and mine alone, my memories are non-transferable. What a blessing the ability to remember is.
1. I started memory journals with each of our girls before they were born. Some day, I'll hand them over to their owners. I will never have vast riches of this world to give them, nor do I want to. But I want them to know that when they were 18-months old, they first learned to peddle their tricycle or that they loved pre-school. I don't trust myself to be able to either convey that wealth of information spontaneously in the future. And, frankly, I'm trying to hoard these bits of memory for myself as well. I enjoy a good moment of melancholy now and again.
2. Tomorrow, I'm going to visit my maternal grandmother all by myself for the very first time. She only lives about two hours away from me now, but I've never been to her house when no other family members have been visiting as well. I've been requested to delete her voice mail and answering machine messages so that people can get through to her. I hope to maybe convince her to let me help her clean out her freezer. I'm guessing that there will be another couple of odd bits to work on around her house. I'm planning on taking some food to leave with her--some pillowy soft maple cinnamon rolls, homemade marshmallows and rich hot chocolate, extra cookies out of my freezer, and maybe even some soup. I want to taker her on any errands that she needs to do, even if it's just finding a table by a window at the Arby's and meandering through Pamida. I don't know how long I'll stay tomorrow. I don't even know what we'll talk about for a couple of hours. She doesn't see or hear well anymore, but I'm tellling you, her mind is sharp. She still has that going for her even if other things aren't in as good of working order as they used to be. I hope to make this something of a bi-monthly visit. And at what cost...some gas and time on the road with me, myself and a book on tape? There are some memories to be tapped here.
3. I'm not much of a texter 'cause, really, it gets real old real fast to text yourself. I have a couple of good, kindly people who don't mind if I pop onto their phones now and again. Most of my thumb tag goes toward the boy: "Don't forget to feed the cats" (this doesn't guarantee anything, but it seems to help though its borderline naggish), "Where are you?" and "Are you still at school? If so, can you stop and get something for me on the way home?" are all likely texts that I send him. The best ones, though, are those random blurbs about funny and sweet things the girls say or do. While grocery shopping with me this morning, #2 (i.e. "baby kitty" as she calls herself a lot lately) looked up at me in the middle of the cereal aisle and asked "How did God make you?" Well, the same as you, my girl. A text is perfect to record that quick second and send it on so that the boy can feel that melty feeling in his heart unexpectedly in the middle of his day. And a recent favorite was when "baby kitty" was put to the task of picking up her blocks, which she had spread willy-nilly around the living room. She was doing the job mumbling some amount of noise to herself. In the next room, I finally stopped to listen to what she was saying and picked up a woeful pattern of "It's hard woooooork....it's hard woooooork....it's hard wooooooork" over and over again. But she's two, so the word "work" doesn't have the flat, midwestern "wurk" sound yet but is a true "or" blend in the middle of the word. It's delicious. And allow me to wax poetic for just a moment about her warbly version of "Precious Lord, Take My Hand." I mean, if you were the boy and you got a random text saying "She's singing 'Precious Lord' again...sigh," wouldn't that just be a memory worth receiving?
4. I got to visit #1's Kindergarten classroom yesterday and talk about what it's like teaching high school/college with them. They were both shockingly attentive and shockingly engrossed in my outfit. I'm not mincing words here when I say that I took careful consideration into what I should wear when presenting in front of 5 and 6-year olds, but still, I scored cool points with my daughter by wearing a plain purple sweater, a long silver necklace, and black ballet flats. Just think that style points I really could have earned if only they had been close enough to notice my leopard print socks! And then my part was done, and I followed the troops out as they were dispersing for a requisite bathroom break. I was turning left and they were turning right when one certain little person in a long-sleeved, white t-shirt, jeans and light-up sneakers took a quick detour to give me a hug. Then she held up those chapped little lips for a quick smooch, and ahh...I feel a little weepy just thinking about that. How many times am I going to get that kind of love in front of her friends? Probably not often. What a great memory to hold onto when she would rather jut her chin out at me in defiance rather than offer a kiss?
5. It seems that plans are going to fall in place for a week-long trip to California this summer that has been 10 years in the planning. Actually, the plan was a week in Hawaii for the past 9 1/2 years, but then I am what I am and that is someone who adores California. So I said "Maybe..." and the boy said "Okay." Just us, a rental car, a few deplorably expensive B&B overnight stays, and the Pacific Coast Highway. I'm suggesting Europe for our 20th year anniversary trip, and the boy has already signed on to that venture as well (snaps to that!). I think right now that we're desperately low as a couple on those memories of just us. It's been too long since we've given our couplehood enough time, and it seems like perhaps, this trip just might happen. It really just might.