Memories are both the keys to our past and the pavers of the bridge to our future. What we are able to tuck away can both sustain us and teach us because they give us reason to celebrate and chances to learn. They are exclusively our own, even if they are contested by someone else, my advice, don’t sweat it, let them have theirs, yours belong only to you.
The yogi’s say we store our memories in our hips, sounds strange to anyone who hasn’t practiced, but I can attest to some crazy stories popping into my head on my mat that I didn’t even know were there. There are a lot of them, considering that one of my firsts predates my second birthday. Most wouldn’t believe it, but I can still smell the fence that I used to rub my nose against, as I roamed the backyard early in the morning. My mom thought I was looking to see if the neighbors were awake yet and maybe we could go over, but I just remember the smell of the sweet, woody fence, and the feeling of having small splinters in the end of my nose. Interesting to me that neuroscience tells us that the sense of smell is closely linked to forming memories. Based on my experience, I'd buy it.
Yesterday though, my memory brought me back to the Starbucks drive through line at Palm and Herndon in Fresno, babies in the back seat, trying to make it to nap time and feeling like life with little ones would never give way to me accomplishing anything else. As I pulled up to the window to grab my coffee, I realized that my mind had wandered so far away, I hadn’t even ordered the cup of coffee when I had the chance. Thankfully, without a complicated order, the girl took pity on me and I got my coffee anyway. Yep, tired with little ones, especially once you have four and are worried because the last one isn’t quite showing the signs of development that were typical to the first three, is a special kind of tired. Physical tiredness is a given, but mental and emotional fatigue is so much harder to carry…and tougher to beat back with a cup of coffee.
Stories can be so simple but they build on each other to create such beauty in life. Tonight I sit on my new patio, a little Florida Georgia Line on my speaker and drinking my big jug of water as I write. My kids all went down to the water to swim, they don’t need me to watch them, but just a few doors down is a group of moms, kids driving battery powered cars, moms with glasses of red wine in hand, just braving the witching hour together as the inevitable fighting and tears come like they always do this time of day…community in one of its greatest forms. I was just one of them, practically yesterday, and those moms who got me through those days, where 4pm to 8pm felt longer than the other 20 hours, still bring tears to my eyes. When I was in it, it was both amazing and hard. When I was in it, I could never imagine a day that didn’t look like sippy cups (with ice), car seats that were probably not tethered properly, and where’s your shoes, (ok, we still have trouble with that one). When I was in it, there was never a thought of being able to do anything else but handle their growth, which actually wasn’t true, I just didn’t realize the full extent of what I was carrying back then. And then it was over.
Don’t get me wrong, I have an 11 year old that challenges me every day in the ways of maximizing development, and teenagers who aren’t even close to done being guided along this path of life, but it’s just different. With little ones, their development is simple but critical. As an intutive, I’m not a fan of the use of control, but those hard and fast rules in the early years, give way to a beautiful, trusting relationship as the years go on. The grind you put in and the boundaries you set the first five years are the backbone for what lies ahead. To use another "yogi -ism",
"strong spine strong mind."
As my crew came back from the water, I saw some of this beautiful independence earned through those early years of boundaries shining through. My new home filled with teenagers, trying to shock me as they decided which “Cards of Humanity” they could show me and which ones they shouldn’t. It’s ok, be shocked, I’ve never played the game, and not planning on it…it’s not my brand of humor. But, as they baked cookies, played the piano and learned to play with yoyo’s they had ordered on Amazon, that intuition I was speaking of kicked in and told me that we are all going to be ok, at least for tonight. And these days, that is the best feeling I ever have.