Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Snap by Mommy Melee

Have you ever stopped to think about your childhood memories? Not the cliché memories. Not the times we fought with our parents or cried at school or had our first slumber parties.

The physical memories. The sensations. The snapshots.

When I hold my sons, I wonder if they’ll remember the way my arms feel. I wonder if they’ll remember the texture of my fingertips.

I can recall certain sensations as if they happened yesterday. Those vivid memories remind me that these hands—the hands I touch my children with—were my hands when I was a child.

And that is weird. (I am me. The child I was. The woman I am. The grownup I am not. I am their mother.) How strange.

Straddling a well-worn balance beam in fourth grade. The wood is as smooth as polished bone. Dust in the crevices. One sharp bit threatening to splinter off. I can smell my own sweat. I’ve been playing tag.

The scent of playground metal on my fingers after hanging on the monkey bars. The grips have been worn off by thousands of tiny hands—leaving a mottled, shiny texture. Silver and dark gray like a fish’s scaly back.

Waxy, pale green leaves and papery twigs. I’m in the bush-fort in my back yard and it’s hot and buggy. I pick the leaves and arrange them in little piles. I’m pretending to be a shipwreck survivor on a deserted island.

I’m making soup for my dog. The heavy plastic bowl scrapes on the sidewalk next to the garage. The hose water is cold and faintly metallic. With a stick, I stir dark brown kibbles until the water turns tea-colored.

My boys chase each other in circles, crawling on the floor and whooping and yelling. A wild three-year-old and an adoring infant.

I hold them and I wonder what their childhood memories will be, when these days have passed.


Mommy Melee writes at Mommy Melee, Your Mama Reviews and Aiming Low. Follow her on Twitter.