Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I've been thinking about what little things become our favorite memories while on our vacation this week, watching my kids partake in our traditional and beloved Michigan activities. I'm sure they will lovingly remember our trips to the woodsy ice cream place, the long walk across the sand from the parking lot to the edge of the lake, the smooth ride of their grandparents' giant white car, and the walks around Lila's garden to collect flowers for the supper table. Plus, all the things they are noticing as special and memorable that I'm not aware of.
After all the trips my family and I took to my grandparent's house in North Carolina, my fondest memories were probably surprising to the adults: the feel of my grandmother's turquoise shag rug on my bare feet, the sounds of crickets and the electric bug zapper, the warm driveway, the scent of pine needles, and the chest freezer in the garage that was always stocked with ice-cream sandwiches. These are details that may seem random to someone else, but each is packed with the good feelings that they evoke for me; the rug, the crickets, the ice-cream all add up to a feeling of total love and comfort.
From the Michigan trips, maybe they'll have special fondness for their memory of the lemondrops they always find in Joe's car, or the super-soft sheets on their beds, or Lila's collection of old children's books.
At my mom's house, I think they'll remember chalk drawing on the driveway, the cupboard always stocked with cookies, or the white toy chest in the hall full of blocks and puzzles. But they're probably noticing other things too that will survive in their memories. There is something about grandparents' homes in the minds of little children, something magical.
This week at the farmer's market in Muskegon, Skyler and Reed dipped their fingers into a quart of blueberries on display in front of one of the farmer's stands. I told them to stop, but the farmer stepped in and said: "Let them help themselves! Future customers!" Then, after they had stuffed their faces, and I had bought 3 quarts, he handed them each one more handful. He winked at me and said: "They'll always remember this." That's confidence in the quality of your berries, I thought, but also, yes, they probably will remember that, because isn't that just the type of thing kids remember? When Mommy says no, but a nice farmer says yes?
I love that they are old enough now that all the fun things we do might stay in their heads.
What are the small details you remember from your early vacations or visits to Grandparents' homes? I love to hear about the tidbits that remain.
We are in mid-air right now on our way home...