As I read a blog post of one my all time favorite authors, Sundry, I found myself really stopping to think, as she often makes me do. As she reminisced about an old town she grew up in, a prior life so to say...I found myself deeply relating.
"I don’t want to go back, not really. But it’s unsettling, somehow, to have the sense that your footprints have been all but erased over the years. To wonder what it will be like to someday look back on your life as it is right now, in all its well-worn grooves, and barely recognize what you see."
I know this feeling well. The unsure feeling of wanting to step back in time, recreate pleasant memories of a prior life just to see them again, and the odd feeling of realizing you don't recognize the happiness when you are in current day. After my parents divorced, right as I moved away to college, my family home was passed around a few times between the two of them before deciding to sell it to a family friend. This very transaction haunts me to this day. Why did it have to go away? The one place that holds so much of my past, isn't there to go back too. And to happen at such a jolting time, when I was already trying to leave the nest for the first time. The idea of clinging to my parents wasn't an option, as their lives were in a stage of transition themselves... but to add insult to injury, I no longer had a safe haven called "home" left to go back to either. I don't often go back to my hometown these days, but every single time I do, I drive back by that house, trying to reach back into my old life, remember it, take comfort in it, and then do what inevitably needs done anyway...move on.
I also think this is where my obsession has always lied in the holidays, they were in my mind always the very best time of the year. The day everyone pretended that we were as fancy and well put together as it always seemed on the surface. We all dressed in our nicest clothing, the entire family went to church, always a big fancy meal...everyone was happy, or at least they pretended. So much to my husband's annoyance, I find myself trying to recreate those "happy times" over and over and extend the holiday feeling as long as possible. To him, Christmas decorating is just an annoying task that needs to be done each year to pacify me. To me, it's a window to my past happiness, its trying to fulfill the never ending hole in my soul.
What this all boils down to is MY children. Realizing how all the little things we do in our everyday lives form memories and comfort in their lives for years beyond what we realize. Not only do I want them to remember their childhood fondly, I myself ALSO want to remember their childhood as one of the most wonderful time frames of my life. I want to be able to look back and remember these years when we pretending with Santa, eating our good night snack by the glow of the Christmas tree, I want absorb it all fully...as Jillian would say...no phoning this in.