The Positive Memory Project: A Mother’s Lesson On Fun
Today I would like to start a new project. We can call it The Positive Memory Project (if we’re naming it, but I don’t know if it needs one). I’ve been doing this thing, where my brain will flash through my head vivid images that are attached to strong negative emotions. It will happen at the most random times, and feels like a punch in the gut followed by hours of a low mood that I have to ignore or wallow through. The images are of my mother on her death bed, struggling through her last couple days of life. And every single time they flash through my head it makes me sick and sad. Sick and sad, sick and sad, I’m so tired of being that way. So, I’ve decided to counteract this happening by focusing on all the awesome memories of the coolest mom there ever was.
There are so many, I’ll just pick a few for today. Let’s get this memory party started, shall we?
Memory 1: I couldn’t have been more than ten or eleven years old when our washing machine flooded sudsy water across our kitchen floor. There must have been an inch of water covering most of the kitchen floor, and while my mom left the room to gather cleaning supplies to fix the flood, I discovered the sudsy water made for excellent ice skating-like conditions. I skated, or hydroplaned, my way around the soapy wet kitchen floor, knowing full well that I’d be in trouble when she came back. She took one look at a crappy situation being made worse, and started laughing and let me continue to skate and slip my way around the kitchen for a little while until she could get the water to stop leaking.
Memory 2: My brother and I liked to make potions, and by potions I mean concoctions made from everything we could find in the kitchen cabinets that would mix up with liquids. Even though it wasted her spices and baking needs, made huge messes in the kitchen, and possibly could’ve poisoned us, she let us do this a few times a year.
Memory 3: The park near our house had swings with dirt underneath them. On rainy days, or hot days with the sprinklers on, we’d head over to the park to play in the puddles that would form under the swings. One particular day, we were swinging and dragging our feet through the puddles and discovered that we could splash the water from the puddles up over our heads completely soaking ourselves from head to toe. Any other mom would’ve freaked out about her kids soaking themselves in dirty muddy water, but she just laughed and let us do it. From then on the rule was, “You can swing through the mud puddles, if you hose off outside before coming in the house.” You mean, we can play and get muddy and then run through the sprinklers and play with the hose? BEST MOM EVER!
What did I learn from all these memories? My mom valued experiences and fun over a clean house and clean kids. She let us explore and get dirty, and laugh a lot. She taught me to get out there and have fun because this life is for laughter and swinging through mud puddles. I was lucky, guys, I knew it the whole time she was alive, and I still do. I fully intend to swing through mud puddles when I have kids. I might even let them have special, magical, potion-making classes with me in the kitchen from time to time.