The phone rings it’s 11:30pm. My dear friend is in labor. How exciting. It’s her first child. I lay in bed thinking about what she must be feeling and experiencing at that very moment. Is she nervous? Is she scared? Is she in pain? In a few hours she is going to be known as “mommy”. Her entire life will be different from that point on in just a few short hours. How lucky!! Lucky to have the chance to teach, to love and to be loved unconditionally. Suddenly my childhood clearly consumed my mind in flashes that were so vivid that I could see the smallest of details.
My childhood was wonderful. Full of love. I had a happy family life. My mom and dad always did fun things with my big brother and I. I’m not talking large elaborate vacations, we couldn’t afford those. But every summer they would rent a cottage on the beach and my whole family would go down. Nothing like waking up as a child, putting on your bathing suit and running out the door to hit the waves. Waves that looked monstrous yet in retrospect were probably half a ft high. We’d go camping. Like, real old-fashioned camping. With a tent and sleeping bags. I liked it then, but not so much now that I’m an adult. One time while camping dad was sprayed by a skunk. The smell was so bad. My eyes were burning and watering. The smell was overpowering. It was like I could taste skunk with each breath I took. As horrible as it was we found ourselves laughing. Laughing you ask? What!?!? Here we had to pack up and leave our camping excursion you think we’d be disappointed “awe man our vacation is ruined” Not to mention we had to drive all the way home with a human skunk in the car. Why were we laughing? Because we made another memory that will stay with our family forever. I have a lot of those. I treasure them. Each and every one of them. From family picnics where I’d stand on top of the picnic table belting out “somewhere over the rainbow” and “it’s a hard knocked life” to the snow forts and tunnels we’d build when it used to snow 2′ at a clip back in the day. It wasn’t just my older brother and I. It was me, my brother and my parents. Family time. Nothing compares to it.
Memories of dancing around the living room with my mom and brother, to standing on my dads feet, my tiny hands in his, walking around the house. Sitting on dads shoulders watching fireworks. Being placed on the kitchen counter by my mom in the middle of the night after I had a nightmare. She would bring me down, sit me on the counter, make me a tiny paper cup of chocolate milk in those Dixie cups that had jokes written on them. In the process I’d forget about the nightmare that moments before had terrified me and she’d tuck me back into my warm bed.
Memories. Little slices of life that will forever be with me. Memories that no one can replace or take away from me. And in a few short hours, my friend would be able to make memories like those with her new child. Such a blessing. I hope one day to be able to provide a child with such memories. Little slices of life that in the end will make up the whole pie.