Mom Memories

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As Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking about my role as Mom and wondering what childhood memories will really stand out for my kids as they grow older.

I assume it would be those really extraordinary times, the ones that take lots of planning and big effort…

The trips into Boston to the Museum of Science, the Aquarium, Faneuil Hall, Fenway Park… that Mother’s Day when we all dressed up and went to the Museum of Fine Arts and then that pricey South End restaurant…

All those holidays where I shopped, cooked, baked and decorated to make it all just perfect and special and unforgettable…

Or the birthday parties… the one when Andie invited every single kid in her class and quite a few from Tucker’s, the bowling alleys, the moonwalks, the gigantic cakes…

Or the vacations we saved for, the gifts, the fancy outfits, the expensive restaurants…

I brought up some of those special occasions with the kids the other day and was met with mostly blank stares. After jogging their memories with key details about each event, they both said variations of Yeah, I kind of remember that, offering me sympathy pats on the shoulder and saying That was fun, Mom.

So, I started thinking back on what I remember most from my own childhood. I closed my eyes and allowed memories to wash over me… appreciation

Sitting on our front flagstone steps next to my mother’s tanned legs while she flipped through that day’s mail and turned the pages of the evening newspaper. 

Mom and I stretched out on the camel back sofa in our den drinking rainbow sherbet-ginger ale floats, watching the 1970’s game show To Tell the Truth. 

A Friday night, I was really young, but we stayed up late and ate a steak dinner with garlic bread and sat around the table so long that the mushroom shaped candle burned right down to a pile of wax. 

Mom’s pink and white striped collapsible lounge chair, the kind that made the click, click, click noise when it was opened or folded up, and the smell of her Hawaiian tanning oil floating in the air.

My backyard birthday party when Mom joined in the relay race and had to sit on a big balloon to make it pop…

As memories continued to flood in, I couldn’t help but notice just how ordinary they all seemed. They were just everyday moments I spent hanging out with Mom.

And then I got it; maybe it’s not about creating memories, it’s about just being with my children and allowing memories to happen.

So in honor of my mom and just in case the kids want a delightful memory to store away for someday, I made root beer floats and we all curled up on the couch to watch Wheel of Fortune. Can’t blame me for trying.
momHappy Mother’s Day, Mom.  Thanks for the memories.

By the way, if you’re looking for a wonderful Mother’s Day gift, check out my friend Katrina Kenison’s book The Gift of an Ordinary Day. She writes so beautifully about her young boys growing into adolescence and beyond, and her longing to capture those wonderfully ordinary, everyday moments.

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