There are parts of your memory that are ageless.
Lets look at memories like rocks. As we get older some of those rocks get polished, and they change or become clearer based on our new perception of things. There are also some rocks that remain unchanged. Sometimes they lose their context, sometimes they lose bits and pieces of themselves, but all in all, they are the exact same rock fragments that they were when you were 7.
Let’s look at some of my rocks.
I remember that the walls to my grandfathers cottage were blue. I remember a curtain in the bedroom. But that’s all. I remember the way that things smelled, or made me think of. I remember the boogeyman doll and being afraid of my grandmothers basement, and in awe of it, all at the same time. I remember what it felt like to be standing outside of my Grandmas house with my lip frozen to the lamp because I thought it was the warmth of my hand that turned it on (It was light sensitive) so I tried to blow on it to make it come on one afternoon.
Sometime you look back at these feelings and know that they were “kid things” other times they have just become truths and they are the best part of how you know someone.
This is how I know my Uncle Treavor, who, to a 7 year old, is cooler than Steve McQueen. He had me the moment he put a lit pipe in his pocket. No joke. In the basement at my Aunt Jane’s house, playing pool with I couldn’t even tell you who, this taller than everyone else man, put a lit pipe in his pocket. SO COOL.
The coolness was only solidified when we were at breakfast once and he did the creamer trick. One handed opening of a creamer. He held the edge of the little creamer cup in his coffee for a couple of seconds and then just gave it a little “pop” and out comes the cream. I know, it’s a nothing event, but it was the craziest thing I had seen. I mean, how cool do you have to be to even need to do that?! Amazing.
It’s the kind of coolness that lasts. I’m 35 years old now, and I still think of him with that level of coolness surrounding him. I have also tried to master the creamer thing, it just explodes everywhere. I’d like to say they have changed the packaging so it’s no longer possible, but I’m sure it’s just that this is not the case, seeing as the packaging probably hasn’t changed since creamers came into existence.
These memories have come to mind lately for numerous reasons. One of them was that I have been thinking of how Rory is going to see me when she gets older. What if I move away? I have to do big things with her now so she remembers them, right? Wrong. It’s not the big things, it’s not the birthday presents, or the outings or the grand gestures that she will remember. It will be the little things that I do without even thinking about it that shape who I am in her mind.
Think back about the people you love, take a look at the rocks they have left you. Think about the ones that you are leaving for the people who love you. Someone once told me “Take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves.” It’s true.