And what does it all mean?
So for the past few years that I’ve been a parent, I’ve felt a bizarre sense that I’ve been here before. And then one day it hit me like a ton of brillo blocks. I am living out my past life through my children.
My childhood memories have always been freakishly vivid, much more detailed than the next person. Unless you also remember the name of the kid seated to your right in 1st grade? Okay. Then what about that he ate mayonnaise sandwiches for lunch and once sneezed purple Kool-Aid in the lunch room? And that he knew all the words to Dancing Queen since he and his brother were allowed to stay-up to watch Solid Gold Saturday Night (lucky punks). And that he wore a red turtleneck sweater to the honey farm field trip – the same turtleneck he wore in our class picture, the one with the grape juice stain on the collar? I might’ve made-up the juice stain part. It could’ve been grape jelly.
Now, as a parent, the memories are flooding back as never before. I realize this natural phenomenon is a toy company’s dream come true. I am putty in Mattel’s greedy little corporate hands. Yes, I confess, my daughter is playing with a Millennium-edition Cabbage Patch doll. Just as my brother and I once stared haplessly at a pile of Lincoln Logs that my parents no doubt bought for us – which inevitably became door jams or prison shivs or quaint firewood piles outside our highly sophisticated Lego houses. Perhaps Darwin would be nodding his head right now as I think I’ve just hit on the very reason why we all are here. Why we procreate, why humanity endures, why we fill with pride and/or disgust when our children’s hair forms into the exact cowlicks we spent much of junior high trying to anchor to our heads with Dippity-Do. Parenthood assures us that second chance to go back, right our past wrongs, be the cool kid we never were, finally get the Easy Bake Oven, and this time make it through 7th grade gym class without puking.
So in an attempt to exorcise these memory-simulating demons, and I believe they are in fact demons, or in my case demons in purple legwarmers, I’ve started this blog. Here I hope to find a safe writing-based outlet that will prevent me from one day sporting matching mother-daughter tube tops while I help host my kid’s high school graduation kegger. The possibility of offering my children delectable memoir nuggets that they can someday chew-up and spit-out at me is a risk I’m willing to take.