Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A mom's memory moment


As a busy mom, I tend to lump seconds into minutes, minutes into hours, and then I just count the hours until they are all sound asleep and I can finally put up my feet without hearing “Mom?  Mom?  Hey Mom!  Mom!  Mom!”  We run from here to there and everywhere in between, filling our summer days with activities that capture the essence of childhood before it wisps away in a warm breeze.
It is, quite frankly, exhausting.  My head spins.  I find myself buying energy drinks just so I don’t nod off on the washing machine holding a baseball uniform that had to be washed for the third time in as many days.  I sound too often like a drill sergeant, barking out chore orders and camp schedules until I’m hoarse, and I haven’t been able to read a children’s bedtime story in completion because the soft tone of my weary voice puts me to sleep long before the children. 
It comes to no surprise to me that when I actually stop and listen to the children that I have had the pleasure to raise, I come across what I like to call a “memory moment.”  I remember reading some magazine article way back in high school about taking a mental photograph and actually saying the word “click” and blinking your eyes.  The action of the blink and the sound of the click were supposed to help you hang onto that image forever.  It can work, and I know this because I remember telling my friend about it.  We were driving through Cuyahoga Valley, just before Brandywine Ski Resort.  Poof!  A memory moment!
But back in real life, the thought of even thinking of making a memory moment is something I don’t make the time for.  Just recently, however, I was absolutely reminded of these moments and how much I would love to have a whole book of them, stashed away in my heart.  I’m proud to say that I have my first entry…
It was a summer day too hot to go outside.  The kids were tired of running through the sprinkler and I decided it would be good to capitalize on the dangerous heat.  They hadn’t had a bath in days that didn’t involve a hose, as the laundry baskets had piled up higher than the dust bunnies.  So we had a good day of inside work and clean up.
I sent them all to separate places, knowing well enough that if any two were together, mass chaos would ensue.  My eldest who has poise beyond her years, took to her bedroom and quietly practiced her flute, which makes the first layer of the memory moment—a closed door with the faint whisper of “Hot Cross Buns” ringing through it.
My son, a boy who loves to clean as much as his mother, was sent to his room to put away his clothes and the piles of whatever boy things clutter from wall to wall.  He was behind closed doors, working diligently.  (Or so I thought.)
My youngest was sentenced to my bathtub, where she was contained in my room so that for once I could put a dent in my closet and bathroom.  She constantly served me bubble bath lemonade, coffee, and loudly sang out her best rendition of the old camp song, “Granny’s in the Cellar.”
So there I was, scrubbing a bathroom counter and drinking tea, listening to camp songs and the flute when in danced my son, looking a bit larger than normal.  
“Guess how many pairs of underwear I have on!!!  Come on, guess!”
The flute player came rushing in, the kid in the bathtub craned her neck, and we all stood in awe while he counted.
Twenty-three pairs of less than comfortable underwear, which was a lot funnier for us than him when he couldn’t get them off.
And then, right then, I said “click” and blinked my eyes.  I filed the whole memory moment in a special folder marked, “it doesn’t get any better than this.”

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