Sunday, July 3, 2011

Selective Memory

Sometimes I start worrying about weird things. Maybe weird is not the right word. Unnecessary? Maybe worry isn't even the right word. I just get this hamster wheel brain thing going and I can't stop myself. Like today, I stood at the kitchen sink in a pretty summer dress and a vintage apron, keenly aware that I was unsure where the waist of my apron should go, as the dress I was wearing was high waisted. Really? Up under my bust? Except the other way was incredibly strange and gave me a funny little "puff" between my chest and my actual waist. Nobody needs an extra puff in that area, I don't care who you are.

And then I started watching my kids splashing around in our cheapy inflatable pool with their 2 dollar squirt guns and hand me down swim suits. I saw them happy and laughing and silly and fighting and showing off for me in turn. I watched the bottom of Ellerie's bikini droop farther and farther off her bum the longer she was wet. I heard countless "Mommy, watch me"s and I soaked in the heat and sunshine while I washed the dishes (from the past three days that couldn't go in the dishwasher). I felt warm and fuzzy, nostalgic and weirdly sad all at the same time. Will they look back on this summer remembering the joy they felt squirting each other in the face with a water gun? The happiness of climbing the tree with an icee in their hand? Or will they remember being forced to sit in the van after church because of a bad attitude, screaming for all who passed by to hear "I HATE EVERYONE!!!!!" Will they remember me constantly yelling and nagging and then crying? Will they take me out of my straight jacket for holiday dinners only to STILL complain about what I cooked? ;-)

Mostly, all of this speculation doesn't matter. I do my best, I say I'm sorry when I don't and I start over. I know that my kiddos know they are loved deeply, but sometimes it does feel like there is so much negativity. So much fighting and whining and anger and tears, it makes me wonder how all the joy will shine through when they look back. When I look back. But memories do seem to mellow. Sometimes I wish I could have more of the rosiness right now. Still nostalgia, being what it is, requires time and perspective. Things taken for granted now will be savored later.

Truth be told, I don't mind if we all remember each other someday with an extra touch of sweetness.

But, I'll be fine if we forget my belly poof altogether.


Melissa Crowe said...

I suppose we should hope they remember the squirt guns _and_ the van time; often when I punish Annabelle she says, "You made me FEEL bad about myself," and I say, "Good." We need to feel bad sometimes, right? We need to feel when we've done wrong, so we can be motivated to do right, so we can turn those "I-hate-everyone" moments into more sunshine-and-saggy-swimsuit moments. Or so I like to tell myself when the chaos overwhelms. ;-)

Melissa Crowe said...

And also--hang in there, my dear.

Scented Sweetpeas said...

I think you will find you are like any other Mum. I love my kiddies dearly but some days they fight so much my throat is sore from shouting at them to stop, can they not hear me? Oh and I am glad it is not just my brain that overworks itself thinking of stuff :-)

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

I love this. I know exactly what you mean.I could use a little more rosiness myself. But I think about my brothers and sisters who laugh uncontrollably over their sweetest memories. The time one pulled the cuckoo clock down on the others head and the time the other one knocked another one in the forehead with a wrench.
Maybe the key is that the rough times are there along with love and fun in the family. I think those sweet moments hold so much weight they strike a balance in the end.

Jen said...

I have come to understand that our children will not appreciate us, until they have children of their own who are driving THEM crazy! We all just do our best. What else can we do?