what would 80 year-old me want to know about this week? what would i want to remember?
i try really hard to capture life as it happens and tell the story of our time together in this space. you see, this story that i tell myself now is how i will remember my life in my years to come. our lives are a collection of the stories we tell ourselves. once this moment passes all we have left is the story.
what do i want to tell myself?
i want to remember the way darla said “i’m the queen of the underworld mermaids” after she colored her lips with black marker. i want to remember the brightness of the poppies around the corner. i want to remind myself of how many times i gaze at that little cradle next to my bed and think about the day in the not-to-distant-future when this person will no longer be a part of me but separate and taking up space in the outside world instead of within me.
i want to remember this picture darla drew of Woody Cat during a breakfast date doodle session and then her demanding i send a picture of it to my parents. i hope to remember how engrossed darla has been with her first set of legos. i want to remember our colorful garden projects and how we really got into finding new objects to paint and add to the gardens, how a walk down the alley to find these items turned into an adventure. i want to remember how it feels to watch new things sprout from the ground and have such high hopes that they will turn bountiful by summer’s end.
i want to remember how darla talked a complete stranger into constructing a fishing pole for her from scratch. i want to look back at a moment of late afternoon life in my household and remember how normal and beautiful it looked bathed in sunlight and be reminded that sometimes there are moments of peace here. i want to remember darla’s joy and enthusiasm as she shows me how she’s taught herself to jump rope 20 times without misstep. and i want to remember how that little girl planted a tree. i want to remember how i tried to talk her out of it at first, tried to explain the years it would take for that tree to grow, and had to stop myself. i had to say “elaine, she’s a little girl who wants to plant some seeds in the hope that they will grow into a tree. just let it go.” and i did. and she did.
i want to remember how overwhelmed and exhausted i felt by midweek. i felt utterly incapable of handling any and all things in life that day. i was short on patience and rude at times. i cried. i yelled at darla and snapped at mike. old lady elaine will smile as she reads that all it took was an early bedtime for my household to then wake the next day and have the nicest of days. the difference a day makes.
and i think 80 year-old me would want to remember how much i love my life and my family and myself at this point in time. i think future me will need to know that is part of my story. that it’s hard some days and i feel lost but despite that, the majority of the time i am happy. so the other stuff doesn’t matter.
future me needs to know that i’m happy, so that’s what i want to put down here. this week was real life and real life makes me happy.
*best wishes for a sunny, memorable Memorial Day weekend to you*