Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fond Memories from Childhood - Ode to Mom

I've mentioned previously how I have a habit of "retro'ing" from time to time.  I'm not sure if this phenomenon is validated anywhere within psychology journals or studies?  But I'm telling is real.

There was that time, maybe about 7yrs ago, that I drove my kids home after work.  As I reached for the door handle to exit the car, I realized I was sitting in front of the house I grew up in circa 1972-1987.

And the time I drove to the grocery store...that had closed about 15yrs earlier?

What can I say?  I have many fond memories of yesteryear.  Many of those 'many' can be attributed to my Mom.  I've decided to share a few 'cards' from my psychological rolodex, which is retro in and of itself...

Like...I remember this:

My memories of this song?  Are of Mom whipping the wheel of our '72 Buick Skylark back and forth, so as to toss me about.  She referred to this as "car dancing", and it was fantastic!  Kids today can't relate with all this seatbelt business.  Our only safety device back then was Mom Arm.  Let me tell you, if given the choice between my Pacifica (5 star crash rated in both front and side impact tests) or Mom+arm in whatever has 4 wheels - I'm choosing Mom+arm EVERY time.  But I digress...

Sometimes, those childhood memories are quite distorted from the reality.  For example, I was able to find a photo of the identical car my parents had.  In reality, it looked just like this:

...something you must know about my mother is...she likes to go fast.  I had come to find out, and in a very interesting way, that she had won more than a few drag races in her younger days.  That interesting way?  Was when I was caught drag racing out town as a teenager and Dad repo'd my car.  I was very upset with him, because I did not lose the race and felt the punishment to be unjust.  As I was sounding my own trumpet, I was basically informed that - had Mom still been in possession of her old car - she'd take me out and, let me get this quote right, "blow the doors off your car".  Blow the doors off my car? Really, Mom?

Game on.

It makes all the sense.  Because this is how I REALLY remember the Buick as a child:

Mom and I really did have the best times.  There was a hill in our town that she'd drive me over just for fun.  I can still recall my intense feelings of anticipation as she'd round the corner...and coast...and I'd clap...and I'd look at her face...and she'd say, "holllllllld on!"  She'd then stomp the pedal to the floor, the front end would pick up like an accelerating boat, and we'd zoom up and over that hill!  My stomach would leave my body, slam into the roof of the car, and back down where it belonged.  The answer to the daily request of, "AGAIN!!!" was, "maybe tomorrow..."  (which meant 'definitely tomorrow')

Hill of Gastrointestinal Joy

Mom.  I know you'll read this.  

I want to thank you.  I want you to know that I appreciate the fact that you endured my insomniac childhood with saintly patience.  You never once ignored my requests for drinks of water or late night bowls of Cookie Crisp.  You didn't force me to eat red beets...after I had thrown up that time.  You never raised your voice when I spun on my Sit 'n Spin until I spewed.  You immediately threw it away, but the point is, you didn't do so in anger.  I will always cherish our moments of dancing and singing, even though the dog would run and hide.  Surely it was a case of poor acoustics?  

Oh, and thanks for taking me and the dog out trick or treating...

They say the more things change, the more things remain the same.  I suppose that's true.

I'm still an insomniac.  I still like Cookie Crisp.  I still hate red beets.

You're still driving a Buick.  You are still beating me in every single race around this town, even when I cheat.  I've become rather used to this view:

So really...thank you for my childhood.  Thank you for all of the support and advice over the years.  Thank you for the many lessons in quiet resilience and strength.

But most of all...

Thank you for being my very best friend:-)  


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