How many times in life do we wish we could have a ‘do-over’? Ohhh, if life was like the games we played as children, it would be so – much – easier.
When Ward and I decided to move, we therefore had to pack, which involved going through everything. I don’t really mind the ‘going through everything’ part, as it always makes me feel ‘clean’. Fresh lease on life. However, it can be a daunting task to pack an entire house. We had only lived in this house for 10 years, all three of my kids had left home, but some of their belongings stayed. When my middle child, Curtis, got married, he did take many of his things. I still had a baby box for him, as I do for each of my kids, which I still hold onto as I’m not quite ready to part with those. When Curtis’s son, Wyatt was born he did take some of the ‘treasures’ in the box he wanted to pass on to his son. One of those items was his bear. Mr. Bear, by name. He took that bear everywhere with him. He slept with him, held him, snuggled him, and if he was lost look out.
Bethany had come home in the spring after University and we decided to go through ‘her’ things that were stored. We reminisced about all the Barbies, and dolls! Just like me, Bethany loved her dolls. Not too many things were discarded and many treasurers were put in her car for her trip back. One thing we came across though was ‘the checkerboard’. Mom had a ceramic shop and her and Dad had made a ceramic checkerboard, but I believe the actual checkers were wooden. Remember how I said in my post Precious Memories how I bawled when I found my Mom’s purse-size ashtray? Well that’s what happened to Bethany when she saw the checkerboard. It was Papa’s, my Dad’s. When we visited he would take turns playing checkers with my kids, and they loved it. I decided Bethany should keep the checkerboard.
For Corey’s Graduation, I had made him a shadow box ‘Memory Frame’. I so wish I would have had the hindsight to do the same for my other two kids. Most of Curtis’ treasures were gone, and other than the dolls and Barbies, Bethany had her treasures…and lived in another province. Maybe someday they will put together their own ‘Memory Frames’. For Corey’s, I put in his toque from the hospital and his yellow hair brush, a small cardboard book called ‘Round and Round the Garden’ that had somehow found its way into the fire pit one camping trip and was definitely scorched. He didn’t remember that, but I do, as we very quickly fished it out as he did not want to part with it. A ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ story he drew pictures for because we read that story all – the -time; a Veggie Tales card – he loved to watch Veggie Tales; Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield clips which were some of his favourite things to read; basketball medals; a picture of him and his sheep (another story); a Lego man, because our house always had Lego to step on…I mean play with; a dinky toy car…again, something to step on; his Class Grad photo; and last but not least, ‘the spider’. Corey had this plastic black spider, a scorpion, and would randomly put it in places for me to ‘discover’, which started out with me screaming, but as time went on, it was more of a surprise. I, of course, would then retaliate and back and forth we went for a number of years. Usually the spider was found in a bed, or a shoe, a coat pocket, or my purse.
I find that as I grow older those moments and mementos mean so much to me. Looking back I know I cursed the Lego pieces I stepped on, grew tired of putting clothes on the dolly for the 47th time, picked the play dough off my fabric chairs, or drug my chairs back to the kitchen so we had someplace to sit when we ate – amid the cries of my kids because I ‘destroyed’ their blanket fort.
Although I did do many things with my kids, I still find myself looking back and wishing I had more patience then, spent a little more ‘time’ playing trucks, or army, and had more tea parties instead of being so busy trying to accomplish ‘things’. The ‘things’ are not what I want to remember, it’s the moments and memories I long for now. At the time however, with the busyness of life, the meals, the cooking, the running here and there, the jobs, the other children in tow, and everything else that life piles on, I did the best I could. As we all do.
I remember saying to my cousin Gail when Mom passed away, “I just wish I could talk to her one more time.” Gail said to me, “Would it ever be enough?” And no, she’s absolutely right, it wouldn’t. We can’t go back, there isn’t a ‘do-over’ this time. So we hang onto the memories we have, and realize we did do a good job, because no amount of ‘one-more time’ would ever be enough. I do encourage all new moms and dads though, to spend the time, rock the baby, have the tea party, play in the sandbox, build the blanket fort…and eat on the floor.
‘Just A Little Something’ that I remember.