I don’t remember the big moments from childhood. I know they happened because I’ve heard the stories, seen the footage, memorized the pictures. But my actual memories are of moments much smaller and seemingly uneventful. I recall the way things felt and looked to me at the time, and when I dwell on them they play back like an indie film full of random scenes.
The scratch of my dads beard on my cheek. I giggle and turn my face.
my mom rinsing the shampoo out of my hair with a plastic cup, and the warm water runs over my head and face... her long fingernails gently scratching my back before bed. I feel safe.
My blue and green flannel nightgown that matched my moms. I would tuck my legs up under it in the winter time to keep warm.
rain falling on the windshield on the way home from gymnastics class on an autumn evening. My dad is asking me something and I am staring out the window watching the street lights overhead.
the taste of a watermelon jolly rancher at the swimming pool, I am standing in a towel dripping wet, and can hardly reach my hands over the counter to pay my 5 cents.
I think about these images more often as I care for James.
When he is in his 20’s he might not be able to tell you what it was like to say “truck” for the first time, he might not even remember his first day of school, or his first glimpse of the ocean. But I think...maybe one day when he is lonely or drifting his mind will default back to some foggy memory of a blankie scrunched up on his face, his own papa’s scratchy beard, the comforting feel of warm water down his back, the sound of my voice singing a lullaby... maybe.
My days are filled with such mundane, normal moments. Yet, it might be these very moments that he remembers.