Chasing Childhood Memories

Happy Birthday, Mom. I miss you.

Time has a way of clouding our memories.

Maybe that’s why the stories about my favorite or funniest childhood memories have taken on a life of their own. Random events play out in my mind time and again, reminding me of the years that rushed away like water driping down a steep mountain’s jagged face—looking like my tears when mother passed away. That day was the worst reminder, I’m only a vapor in the wind. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow may never come. And today, I find myself chasing childhood memories once again.

Now when I think about events that gave birth to my favorite memories, I see why my mom wasn’t always amused with all the colorful joys of motherhood.

I could truthfully say my mother, Josephine, (AKA Jaws-Z) enjoyed being a stay at home mom while my sister and I attended elementary school in NYC. But, sometimes she took her role as a domestic administrator too seriously.

This was a problem for a fairy wannabe (me) between the ages of 5-10.

… Doesn’t she know children don’t need to live in such a perfectly clean house? She should spend more time in the garden. Or swimming. Or hiking. It makes her smile. Makes me smile too …

 She didn’t allow herself nearly enough time in her garden.

 But I remember it was beautiful. Two rows each of pink begonias and purple petunias circling the giant oak trees and then an area with a tangled gorgeous mess of orange tiger lilies, poppies, tulips and other wildflowers next to a 12’ x 12’ area for vegetables. 

That’s where we spent priceless moments bonding, laughing, singing … and growing together.

Sure there were days I pushed her buttons a few hundred times more than she’d like. I’d park my Barbie Camper outside, in the mud, then leave tire streaks throughout the house after she’d finished mopping. I’d bring in wounded birds (and plates of bug soup for such patients). Or, I’d let my pet turtle Tommy get his daily exercise on my bedroom floor—or on my bed. Once. Or twice.

Surely, she should have understood beautiful creatures like Tommy needed room to roam. “Confinement in a ten-gallon tank could drive him crazy,” I’d say.

 Nope. She didn’t get it. And my older sister, Janet, wasn’t much help.

“Jo-Jo did it,” was her famous—and true, last words before ‘Mt. Jaw’s’ blew her top.I knew I’d be in trouble when she started ranting about the mess and raised her voice a few octaves per second. I’d always abandon ship at that point. Whether she found me irresistibly funny or not, the reality of her being the maid, chef, and groundskeeper, sometimes got to her.

She’d start out laughing. Then I’d hear the clickity-clank of her sandals rapping and tapping down the narrow hallway.

Yes, she boomeranged her orange high heel sandals at us! Lucky for me, I was tiny, and impish like my idol, Tink. And very quick on my feet …

 Though many years have passed, that’s still one of my favorite stories I love to tell my kids …

“Yeah …We ran. Nanny chased. We ran faster. She laughed, then yelled when she couldn’t keep up with us. And off came her shoes! 

My sister and I slid across the polished wood floors (I’d make believe I was a pro ice skater) until we got up enough speed to dive or scramble under our beds! Hahaha!”

Nanny’s famous words: “Wait till your Father gets home.”

But my dad was a softie. He had a way with defusing explosives. Soon we’d hear them laughing in the kitchen while she told him the events of her crazy day. I always smile when I think about those hilarious memories. My mother’s voice still lives in my brain. Her laugh (yes, sometimes she cackled), my constant companion. She loved us. She had fun even when she taught us right from wrong. Of course my childhood antics annoyed her. I guess she, like all us moms, didn’t know what she signed up for when she had three daughters. No need for exercise classes. My mom’s ‘workout’ burned tons of calories.

Sometimes I wonder what my four grown sons will remember most about their childhood. Will their memories be colored with gardens and beauty, with sounds of laughter and love? Or will they only recall the visions of stress, sadness, or strife?

My mother looked up at me and smiled before she took her last breath. She held my hand as she passed away. I’d give anything to have her run after me again … But for now, I’ll keep chasing childhood memories until I see her in heaven.

I miss you, mom

Joann M. Claypoole ~ Dreamdove's Flights Of Fancy

Time has a way of clouding our memories.

Maybe that’s why my favorite childhood memories are funny. Random stories play out in my mind time and again, reminding me of the years that rushed away like water falling down a steep mountain’s jagged face—looking like my tears when mother passed away.

The reminder, I’m only a vapor in the wind. And now when I think about some of the events that gave birth to those memories, I can see why my mother wasn’t always amused with all the colorfuljoysof motherhood.

I could truthfully say my mother, Josephine, (AKA Jaws-Z) enjoyed being a stay at home mom while my sister and I attended elementary school in NYC. But, sometimes she took her role as a domestic administrator too seriously.   :/

This was a problem for a fairy wannabe (me) between the ages of 5-10.

… Doesn’t she know…

View original post 466 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s