Setting a place and way for remembering dear things and moments was not something that I did when I was younger. I didn’t journal and I didn’t hold onto tokens from the past. I was one of those dark things that came out of the early 90’s running fast, fearlessly, and recklessly. I had a soundtrack filled with the Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, and The Cure. We were a fast and dirty generation; not the type to hold onto mementos and many moments were bleary from emotion, excess, and living life hard and wild.
Time has kept going. I never did end up in a hole in the Ukraine. I ended up as a mommy and a Spanish teacher. I like it. I like teaching high school kids. I like knowing other languages. I even like my little suburban home with flowers, hamsters, soccer games, cross country practice, and neighbors.
Sometimes I look around and my 19 year old self, in a black patent leather dress inside a bar under age, sneers. Sometimes I listen. There is a certain je ne sais quoi about being in the VIP lounge in a famous rock venue with free drinks. It felt good to be the belle of the vampire ball.
Then I smell the grass or see the sun shining on my son. I hear about his 7:15 minute mile at cross country tryouts and I offer to run with him, if he’ll slow down 2 minutes a mile. He is so big and proud. Faster than mom, you know.
I share pinky swear secrets with my lisping princess. She really liked kindergarten better. There’s no rest time in 1st grade. She tells me that sometimes she gets wobbly words when she talks to her big brother’s best buddy’s little brother. For a minute everything glows.
Now I want to hold the pieces and the moments. I want to make sure that when my children are lost and angry in the great big world that they can run home, or at least call for money, food, and moral support. I want to fill the puzzle pieces into place.
I hear these 50 life lessons on public radio today; some are worth keeping.