Friday, March 6, 2009

Thanks for the Memories

It's a funny thing, how the memory works. We don't really get to chose what our minds will hold onto, and what they'll let flitter away without us even noticing. And how about those childhood things you remember as always happening, that in reality only occurred a few times? When it was my turn to wash the dishes as a kid, I hated the icky remnants of food floating around in the sink full of soapy water. Didn't want to touch any of that with my hands. I seem to remember that my older brother would always throw a few saltines in there, just to gross me out. But how many times did he really do that? I doubt that my hysterical reaction was enough incentive for him to do it every time I washed the dishes.

We don't get to choose what someone else will remember about us, either. At a junior high school reunion a few years ago (yes, jr, high, not high school. I went to big schools.) I was surprised by the things people would say that they remembered about me. Stuff I had completely forgotten about, like the way I wrote on the board every morning, "Smile, it's Happy Tuesday Day!", or "Wednesday is Prince spaghetti Day!" , etc. Alas, I was that girl. There are people who have snapshots in their minds of who you are, based on memories of things you don't even remember you did. Strange.

I wonder what pieces of growing up my kids will hold onto. And what memories of them my brain will keep. I have always loved reading, from the moment I figured out how to do it. One favorite series as a little girl was Carolyn Haywood's books about Betsy and her friends Billy and Ellen. But I'd forgotten all about her, couldn't even think of Haywood's name.

We went to the library last night, and Lily was looking for a real chapter book, that she could read on her own. She's read a few Juney B. Jones books, but she wanted something bigger to hold in her hands, I think. Those are little paperbacks, and she wants to feel more like her older brothers. I suddenly remembered about Betsy, and found those oldies but goodies on the shelf. (I typed "Betsy" into the search thingy, and there was my old favorite.) Lily thought it looked good; it's a hardback, with 159 pages, and she's off. She's liking Betsy, too!

I snapped this pic of her this morning, walking to the bus stop by herself this year, because Luke goes to a different building at a different time. I want to hold onto the image of them happily, confidently heading off to school knowing they're loved. She's just growing up, my Lily, and getting old enough to find her own favorite authors, have her own memories now.

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Now you got me all teary eyed!
Dang...she looks so big, so happy in that picture.
Great thoughts!