Wednesday, April 20, 2016
The Things We Remember
I remember moving to Verona from South Carolina. Having a southern accent, not liking the taste of Italian milk, or the different way meat was cooked. Not seeing well but nobody noticing I needed glasses.
Spending recess alone at the school library reading. Not being allowed to go on sleepovers.
Watching the series "Roots" in the darkened cafeteria while it snowed outside.
Going home after school and reading instead of doing homework. Always reading. I remember walking to drama class on my own and an old man sticking out his tongue at me in a strange way.
I remember walking home in the dark to a warm house with delicious smells coming from the kitchen.
I remember creating a makeshift post office in the house and writing all of the letters myself. Hearing arguments because my older brother wanted a vespa and my parents didn't want him to have one. The sound of a piano playing all afternoon. My great aunts laughing at one of my stories.
Now that I have a daughter who is the same age I was then, I wonder what she will remember? Will it be the apple slices I put every day in her lunch box? The goodbye hugs before boarding the bus, the ride to school sitting next to her big brother? The evening I mentioned I was home cooking dinner instead of being at a fancy movie gala sipping champagne and she answered, without missing a beat, that that was my choice. The quick wittedness of which I begrudgingly admired, wishing I had been so logical as a child.
Or will her deepest memories have nothing at all to do with me. After all, what are apple slices and hugs when compared to being chosen for a school team, invited to a party, or told someone has a crush on you.
What I do know is that as I cut the apples, tie the pony tails, and listen to the science reports, I am the one who is already reminiscing, looking back on these days, and feeling, what the poet Jorge Luis Borges called, nostalgia for the present.
Posted by Jennifer