Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Memory Lane

Tonight I was looking through a box of "old things" with my sons. Mr. Ten delights in going through the piles and boxes and bags of things I keep like a good archivist does (read: like one with a moderate hoarding issue does). Whatever. I like to keep things.

Keeping things makes me feel grounded in my own history. I've never been able to get rid of items just because a year passed without using them, or because I didn't actively appreciate them. Sometimes things live in boxes under beds or tucked away in corners of the attic or basement for quite a long time before they resurface, and when they do it's like clouds parting! Tonight in the midst of cold and snow, the clouds parted and we found a box of my old writing - as far back AS THE NINETIES!!!!

"Mama, how old were you then?? Is that from a typewriter??"

The nineties, you guys.

We read a few things I wrote my senior year in high school, for a local newspaper and the very first thing I looked at was an article about a cyclist visiting our fair Village. When they asked me to read it aloud, I got four sentences in and had to stop because all four sentences began with the word "His"....

My dear sons,
Please don't ever have four sentences in an opening paragraph of writing begin with the exact same pronoun.

It got a few laughs, I admit it. Not as many laughs as the paper I wrote in college for a class called, "The Sociology of Baseball" however. This one stole the show.

In the first, Mr. Thirteen thinks it wildly hilarious that I took a class in college called, "The Sociology of Baseball." He will learn the beauty of the elective course in due time. I let him have his laughter. In the second, what got us all really going were the remarks of the instructor. I remember this class as being one where I figured I could get an easy A, raise my GPA and maybe grab a date or two. Win, win, win.

All of that happened and I have a paper where the poor old coot teaching the class waxed poetic over my abysmal writing. If memory serves, the class was filled with guys on various sports teams who ALSO needed an easy A and my best guess is that a paper written by someone about to graduate with a degree in English Literature was an especial treat. Well, in fact, it was an "excellent paper - smooth, elegant style with a transcendent air." I was awarded twenty out of ten possible points. My sons were impressed.

Tonight's little jaunt into the ancient ages of the nineties have left these boys with the distinct impression that I was supposed to make something of myself. And Mr. Ten asked me, "So....Mama, HAVE you made something of yourself?"

Oh dude. Probably not. But it's your bedtime now and the Duke game is starting, and I have to finish the application for the mortgage refinance and probably fold some of your clean laundry....I don't know what I've made of myself and maybe it's not for me to know.

Perhaps someone else's memory lane will tease out my worth someday. For now, let's be happy to brush our teeth and snuggle into our cozy beds. We can make more of ourselves tomorrow and the tomorrows to come.

 Photo Credit: lovestruck. via Compfight cc