Saturday, December 22, 2007

M is for Memory Keeping Momma

It always amazes me how a whole group of people can take part in the same event and yet walk away with a diverse assortment of memories. It makes me ponder over just how reliable our memories are, especially after time has it's way with them.
When you think of all the filters one human being has that affects how a single moment is viewed, felt and remembered it's a wonder we ever find a common ground during those "remember when" conversations. How we are feeling emotionally and physically, what we are thinking at the time, when it takes place, where we are, who we are with......all of these variables act as a prism refracting the interpretation of the moment. Then tack on the external events happening at the same know those connectors that sometimes help us place the memory in a certain time and setting? Add to that, the level of importance of the event............then stir in how much wine you've had.......

Christmas memories, impressionistic in their artistry are unique to the individual. Though we may share some of them..........the bigger brush strokes perhaps.......the fine details blend in colour and contrast, in shape and size and importance, are based on how we choose to remember them. It's like we have our own scrapbook filled with momento photos which flicker in our own light.

As an experiment to see if my theory holds any eggnog, the spiked kind........... I asked my family this morning what their memories are of last year's Christmas.

"What are your most vivid memories from last year," asks Mom.

My 14 year old daughter's reply?

"I remember waking up at 4 in the morning and having to watch some extreme sport show on TV because I was so sick of watching that movie, The Christmas Story........oh, and doing my nails to pass the time. Oh, yeah, and I remember running a bake sale at the school to raise money for the soup kitchen........"

My 10 year old son's reply?

" I couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve and there was lots of bacon."

How utterly profound............ note to me............ make sure we're stocked up on the bacon. Hmmmmm, perhaps I need to go out today and buy two pairs of hot pink bunny pyjamas with feet. They would most definately remember that wouldn't they?? :)

My husband's response?

"I remember how much fun the open house was, and seeing friends we hadn't seen in a long time, and Christmas dinner. I remember it being a wonderful dinner just sitting around the dining room table with our friends. Then relaxing afterwards watching Waking Ned Devine with our friends and watching my family fall asleep all around us."

And ME?

I remember walking into my living room in the middle of our open house we had on the 23rd of December to find everyone singing Christmas impromptu moment which could never be replicated. Oh, then there was the solstice celebration at our friend's house. I remember spending an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen and enjoying the pace and busyness of entertaining. I remember looking around and seeing people engaged in good cheer conversations................I remember the wrapping and opening of presents on Christmas morning, the big breakfast the four of us shared.......yes, I do recall the pound of bacon I cooked....

I do remember basting the turkey, pulling together the Christmas dinner while my good friend Anne plied me with chilled white wine. But, for the life of me? The whole dinner conversation and subsequent movie? Yeah, I'm sure it happened, but by then I was toast.

yes, we all do have different memories don't we? It's a good thing mothers were invented to ensure that the memories are expanded upon and added to for future reference. Photos help do blogs!

Perhaps this year, starting today...................I will point out key potential Christmas memories to my kids who seem to have amazing brains when it comes to reciting every Simpsons episode, right down all of Krusty's infamous lines. Better yet.........wait til they see what I have planned as a kickstart to Christmas dinner this year. Photos will be taken to preserve the moments.

Anne? Bring on the wine.
Hark the Herald Angels sing............

This week's Sunday Scribbling's prompt was "holiday memories." For more versions of those memories, click here.


Just Jen said...

The bacon answer cracked me up! That is something my boys would say...Have a great Christmas!

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

So true how we all have different memories....and I agree with Jen, I cracked up at your son's bacon answer too.

kenju said...

I am sure that mr. kenju and my son would ONLY remember the foods we had! My girls - I don't know what they'd remember. I remember thinking it was the best Christmas we had had in a bout four years (since my daughter's divorce and subsequent remarriage).

Merry Christmas to you!

Jess said...

Yo Muskie,

Love your blog--your lovely vibe shines through. I hope you guys are having a great Christmas... I'm in England with my mother and her hubby and I'm very happy. Wishing you all the best. Keep up the good work!
xoox Jess

Lucy said...

This is so true and very funny. I am definitely going to ask my family their memories of last year, I'm sure I will get a lot of food memories from my 3 sons as well! thanks for the read

forgetfulone said...

Don'tcha just love how kids respond when you ask them about memories? I'm sure they remember other things as well, they are just reluctant to seem sentimental. Blessings to your family this Christmas.

TheVasquez3 said...

what a fun Scribbling! love it!

Julie said...

I'm going to ask my kids today and see what they say! Lovely post.

Bruce was amazing!!
Happy holidays to you and yours.

Love Julie x

Awareness said...

Jen. Yes, my son has a bacon addiction. Can't ever get enough of it. His answer cracked me up too. It actually was the reason I ended up writing this piece.

layla...I find that if I ply my kids directly for an answer to one of my incessant questions like that, they are more apt to give me a dismissive one liner, albeit funny....if I let the memories or interpretation of a certain event slip out on their own, their answers are far more in depth.

Merry Christmas Judy. I hope you're surrounded by your family again this year..........and that the food is all memorably wonderful!

Yo Hipchick Jessie! Wonderful to see your smiling comment. Shiny and lively as you are. Who knows, perhaps you'll bump into Mick while you're in the UK?? Are you still living in Portland? Fling me an email after Christmas when you have a chance and let me know what projects you have on the fly. Would love to touch base with you....Merry Christmas to you and your Mom and her new Hubby. Does your Mom still wear really cool snazzy pants? I remember her getting out of that plane at Kawabi wearing the funkiest/coolest pants....I think they had embroidered giraffes or something on them! Then again, my memories may be completely whacked out. I did have such a stressful job ensuring the safety of my lovely and talented campers that it may have impacted how I viewed the world. :) xo Muskie.

Lucy.....let me know what their answers are. would love to read them.

forgetfulone....yes their answers often make me laugh. Actually, many of their memories came out when we were decorating the tree last Sunday.....they weren't illicited. Just gotta be there to hear them, right?

vasquez....i agree, it was fun to write.

Julie......what happened to the recent posts on your blog?? Great news that Bruce lived up to your expectations! Such a wonderful powerful story behind the acquiring the tickets. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

paisley said...

very interesting experiment,, i cannot wait to see and or hear the results....

Gypsy said...

Memories are precious no matter how reliable they are. If I asked my daughters they would probably only remember the presents. Me, I always remember the conversations, the laughter and just being with the family.

Merry Christmas to you and your family Dana. Blessings to all of you.

m.o.M. said...

What a wonderful post! I'm going to try that with my family.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Kamsin said...

Memories are funny things! Hope this year brings lots of good ones!

gautami tripathy said...

Family is so important despite the quirks!


tumblewords said...

Laughing! It would appear that my brother and I grew up in different households. The first time I realized that was several years ago and I'm still puzzled. Grin...