Of That I'm Sure

There are times when I quite simply can’t remember. Any of it.  As if it never happened. One big whirling blur of passing time. Too slowly and now much much too fast. Children growing and changing. From diapers thru adolescence and into their grown-up worlds. Life. I look to the old photo albums to remind me. Thankful for the snapshots…the documented memory.

It DID happen.  Of that – I am absolutely sure.

It’s an annual rite of spring..maybe. A cleaning. A cleansing. A peeling away of the old layers and making space for the new.

Every year – it’s the same. My intention is always to sift and sort thru..to eliminate that which is no longer used and useful….and this year to finally conquer these last remnants of those very old toys. The ones that I haven’t been able to part with. The ones that remain. Now outdated. Now sitting un-used and un-wanted. Once – I thought I’d save them for those sometime grandchildren that may someday be. Now – I find myself wondering what it is I’ve held on to and why. No one will want these. They’ll be considered ancient relics and the leftover fragments of another day and time. Their parents - MY children - will scratch their heads and ask what it was that their mother was thinking and why she held onto these last scraps for so many years.

An over-sized bucket of legos…now collecting dust. Plastic..multi-colored interlocking blocks. I’ve been holding tight. My little boys’ and their precious games. A reminder of the hours we spent sitting on this very floor. Building up and tearing down and re-building. Fortresses and castles. Cowboys and Indians. Dungeons and Dragons. Battles fought – sometimes lost and sometimes won. Victory and defeat…and empires that rose and fell.

It DID happen. Of that – I’m sure.

A riding helmet. A one that is covered in that old black velvet with the button on top. Another piece I’ve been holding near. Little girl imaginings of running free in the saddle…of horses and stables and the smell of raw hay. So much time spent in that riding ring. Practicing. Watching and cheering her on. My little girl’s dreams. Or were those mine?

Old books..old videos and games. Favorite dolls..still perfectly adorned in their little doll clothes. Softly faded and worn-out stuffed animals and teddy bears. Baseballs and bats. Plastic guitars. Memory. The one that has gotten itself lost in the passage of time..and life’s smudges and smear.

The house now sits too big…to silent..too empty. Once -  overfilled with their laughter.. and their tears..with their chaos..and their noise. Now  - all but forgotten. There was joy. There was heartbreak. There was love. I dare not sugar-coat..or romanticize …or make it into something it never was.  It wasn’t always easy. And it certainly wasn’t always fun. It was my daily landscape… my daily life…but  not really mine. It belonged to my children and their childhoods. It was theirs and theirs alone.

My little boys who once reached upwards to grab hold of my hand now tower tall above me. Men. They now bow themselves downwards as I now stretch myself up to them. And my girl now stands taller at one half-a-head higher than I ever was. A young woman all unto her own. When did this all happen? There are times when I can no longer remember.

To those old photo albums I go to remind me. I hold tight to these remnants and old toys. And I think that in spite of all my good intentions..that I’m not yet ready. I will hold on to these last remains for yet just one more year. The documented memory. The evidence and proof.

It DID happen. Of that – I am absolutely sure.