Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Click Click Click

I have very few memories of my mother. The trauma of her death at a young age has wiped a lot of my early memory and kept a lot of memories I’d rather have lost. I was 7 when she was diagnosed with cancer and 9 when she died. I have memories of my childhood … hundreds … but not many with her in them.

I have boxes and albums stuffed with photos. I often look through them and it can trigger memories of an event but not of the interaction we shared, normal everyday moments shared between a mother and child. The kind of moments I share with my children that I know I shared with her but have no recollection of. A goodnight kiss, snuggling up for a bedtime story, holding hands as we walk down the street … all gone in the dust of death.

I have only two very different memories that have stayed.

Memory 1
We were at a neighbour’s house. I was playing with my friends; the adults were all chatting and laughing in the living room. It must have been a party of sorts because there were a lot of people there. We were running up and down the stairs, racing round the house. It was late, I was tired and hot and I went to my mum for a cuddle. She sat me on her knee; she lifted my long hair up and blew cold air on my neck to cool me down, breaking off to laugh with her friends. We sat like that for a long time, together. It is a tender moment that I treasure.

Memory 2
Driving somewhere, just the two of us, Mum and me. I was sat in the backseat. I had a plastic toy gun which made a click noise when the trigger was pulled. Cheap plastic against cheap plastic; Click, Click, Click. I realised that this noise, although not annoying to me, was grating to my mum. I evidently clicked one too many times because I was told in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t stop it would be going out of the car window. I must have weighed up the seriousness of her threat before … CLICK. Without saying a word, and still driving, she removed the gun from my hand, wound down the window and threw it, wound up her window and continued on our journey as if nothing had happened.

I have a lot of memories of my father’s parenting which was fairly laid back unless I crossed the line in which case I knew about it.

I often think about the way I parent my own children. On a bad day I am a ‘show no mercy’ gun slinger and on a good day I am a laid back tender neck blower.

I need to learn how to be a mixture of gun slinger and laid back tender neck blower all the time!


The Dotterel said...

Moving post!

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

Cripes, that was just lovely and really makes you stop and think about what our own children must remember from the things we do now.
How lovely to have such warm memories and a box full of pictures to treasure. x

Sandi McBride said...

I just wanted to hug you. It made me sad for you but then I thought about it. So here's my take on it...It's the quality of the memory that counts, not the quantity. Those two memories were special, in more ways than one. Merry Christmas to you sweetie...

Stinking Billy said...

beautiful, baby, just beautiful. x

Merrily Down the Stream said...

Beautiful post. I can get a little overwhelmed at the power we have over our children's memories. YIPES!

Robert said...

Don't worry about your parenting skills. We are all "show no mercy" gunslingers on a bad day. From what I can see, you show you show your kids lots of love. That's what REALLY matters in parenting.

Anonymous said...

Wow, very moving indeed. I hope I can be both styles of parent too - my own mother taught us that meaning your threats is important - it makes them less necessary. Nothing can beat a cuddle when it is wanted though, for me or Georgia. Happy Christmas to you, may it create many happy memories.

The Book Chook said...

Me, I still lurch from gunslinger to neckblower and back again. Although I've noticed there is more gunslinger around when I'm tired.

Old Knudsen said...

The fact that you want to learn is a head start over most.

Children need boundaries, structure and love. No changing the rules every 5 minutes following yer moods consistency being the key.

Every parent that cares ends up wishing they did this or that blaming themselves even if they were perfect.
Every child grows up with some issue with the parent which is often imagined.
You can't win just do the best you can and be happy with that.

I'm sorry about yer mum life can really suck. I hope you learned and get medical exams every year.