Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Childhood Years

We have a legend in our household. It is called "The Apricot Story". I won't go into the telling of the tale, but suffice it to say that the child involved, who is now in her twenties, knows that the story will be told without fail to any boyfriend that makes it past eight or ten dates with her. It will be told on her birthday, it will be retold to friends we haven't seen in years, and it will surely be told to her in-laws on her wedding day.

Each of our children has a history that includes many stories, and we remember them all. The oldest fell asleep on the bus every day on the way home from kindergarten. Every day , the bus driver had to carry her into the house. To this day she needs more sleep than anyone else in the family. When one of the twins was three years old, he cut all his hair off one afternoon. Over the years, as he matured and developed his interests, that haircut so long ago seems to have been an indicator of his passion for religion. The other twin ran through a plate-glass window at age four and came out the other side completely unscathed. Presently his reputation for getting himself in and out of scrapes unharmed continues. These stories are just a start. We have stories for all ages, from the tale of their birth to the Little League years to the teenage scandals, and we love to relive them. At least their dad and I do. I am not sure that they do; I have never asked them. The fact that they smile self-consciously and stare at the table, color rising up into their ears while we regale guests with these stories, has never hindered us from telling them.

The lives of our children continue to enchant us. At age four they filled us with a sense of wonder and delight. Now in their twenties, they continue to do the same. We never get bored with the stories. We never forget.

An excerpt from The Quotable Mom edited by Kate Rowinski

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