In our house, we have what we call our “Remember When” box.
Everyone has one – either in their heads, in a diary, on their hard drive, in a blog. We’re pretty low tech – ours is a simple red box which sits in a corner of our dining room and has been chewed by one of our dogs (or maybe one of our children – not sure).
So far, the box is about half full of hand written index cards and other bits and pieces that summarise little everyday moments in our lives. Nostalgic little snippets. It is a special treat to open the box and read them aloud. My six year old daughter claims to remember events that took place half her lifetime ago. I think she probably just remembers remembering, but close enough…
Here is a little taste of what’s inside:
- Remember when… the morning after we went to Chatswood Westfield and bought a new beagle puppy (Buddy) on a whim, Miss M (Age 2.5) said: “We went out for a babycino. We bought a puppy. That’s silly.” Indeed…
- Remember when… Miss M (Age 3) and Mummy were looking at the lorikeets sitting in the tree outside the bedroom window? Mummy said that these types of birds like to fly in pairs, and Miss M responded: “Yes, and baby birds like to fly in bananas”
- Remember when…Miss A (Age 2) developed an obsession with doing bottom wiggles every chance she got? At day care, in the supermarket, at the doctors… “Bottom wiggle, bottom wiggle!”
Interestingly there is nothing negative in our box. It is all flowers and smiles and sunshine. We have been inadvertently creating a nicely biased view of our lives. It would certainly be possible for us to round things out a little:
- Remember when… Miss A (Age 2.5) spent every waking moment trying to scratch her big sister (Age 6) and little brother (Age 1) in the face?
- Remember when… in order to get out of the door in the morning, Mummy was forced to behave like Dora on steroids? “HURRY UP!!” “Teeth, face, sunscreen, hair!” “Teeth, face, sunscreen, hair!” “No more handstands until you’re ready!” “Teeth, face, sunscreen, hair!”
- Remember when… none of our three children would ever do what we asked them the first time we asked? Not ever?
Sure – we could make more of an effort to include that stuff. But on reflection I believe that perhaps we’re meant to look at our past through rose coloured glasses. The relentless 5:30am wake-ups, the incessant screaming from the back seat of the car, the not infrequent “I hate you Mummy!”s, the tantrums in the supermarket… Maybe these things are actually best forgotten – pushed to the remotest recesses of our minds, never to be accurately recalled again – even (indeed especially) when our children have children.
You see – if we don’t recall these things, we will be able to legitimately tell our children that when they were little they were perfect angels – the subtext being that we must have been excellent parents. And then our children will wonder why their kids aren’t perfect angels. And then Hubby and I will shrug our shoulders, smile sympathetically, and take our grandkids out for way too much ice cream…
Because revenge is a dish best served cold.