It is incredible what our children retain. Their capacity for reiterating stories back to us at the most unexpected times is extraordinary. Sometimes I have to remind myself that my children are literally tiny vaults of encapsulated memories, constantly conjuring up elements from days past.
“We’re going to SESAME PLACE!!!!” Adrian screams every time we drive through a certain spot on the BQE. “Remember when you made me wings, bought me a cookie, blew bubbles in the park, talked to the old lady with the doggie, and read me the story about the glittery mermaids?!”. How can she possible recall the sequential order of a day that took place years ago? A day that felt rather random to me, yet clearly significant to her.
I have a handfuls of memories I vividly remember from when I was Lucia’s exact age. Like when I’d image in Kindergarten that my cubbie had the pretty rainbow painted on it and not the caged Lion that was assigned to me. I remember that my friend A frequently peed in her pants and didn’t understand why F‘s tush was always peeking out of the top of his jeans. I remember visiting my mother’s family in Colombia for the first time and begging my Tias to take me to see the movie Annie in English. But mostly, I think of my mother and her ability to guide me and my brother with steadfast grace and compassion. Traits I hope to emulate in my own motherhood.
School vacations always have a way of making me reevaluate my role as mama. Free of schedules, our days are fluid, filled with outdoor play, messy crafting and family-time. I’m reminded of how Lucia and Adrian simply need to be kids and small gestures can make their days feel magical.
My husband and I are a solid team, but recently, life’s challenges have been getting the best of us. It feels impossible to practice “calm begets calm” when I honestly just want to scream, and the big girl still doesn’t have her shoes on after asking several times. It’s been hard for my husband not to be short and stern when external stressors are no longer few and far between.
Then I observe my Lucia mimicking my frustration, and I watch them both be little bosses to one another. Soon they retreat back to their biggest influence, seeking comfort found in mama’s arms.
Sometime we need to step back and reassess the roots. We need to reflect on our collective intentions and the foundation upon which we built our little family. Our future actions will continue to bear flaws, but accountability, and perseverance to amend can be part of our legacy.
We somehow always return to spontaneity and fun, and Marino-style family dance parties. And we do our best to reflect what we want them to emulate, with remembrance that each new day carries memories in the making.