Sure I remember the first time I held them. One does. But what stays with me are the flashbacks of shared moments. Moments in all likelihood, which were meaningless to them. I dare say long forgotten. But for me, I can close my eyes and we are there.
With my oldest, it’s driving down Ladner Trunk, stopped at the light in front of the KFC. We were heading to his school for kindergarten. He was next to me in the front seat. His younger brother and sister sat behind us in the back seat of our baby blue Ford Ltd station wagon. The kind of station wagon with the flip up seats in the back compartment. He looked nervous. I reached over and touched his hand. He took it and we held hands the rest of the five block drive. He jumped out of the car at the school and never looked back. Now he is 33, with a beard, a family of his own and he jumps out of helicopters fighting wildfires for a living.
The next moment is with my thirteen year old middle child. Hours and hours spent on movie sets waiting his turn as an extra, watching the comings and going of the actors and crew. We would fill the time playing cards or sometimes just sit in silence entertained by the activities in front of us. Set wranglers (the people who managed extras) loved my son with the extraordinary ability to sit quietly for hours on end and they hired him over and over again without worry that he might grow impatient and cause disruption. One day, on the set for a TV show called Cold Case we were the very last extras sitting in the waiting room. His scene, was the last to be shot. I was so worried about him because his scene was to stand in a suit over the casket of his dead father in a funeral home. They shot the scene, first take. My son showed not a hint that it bothered him considering what his own father had just gone through….I thought to myself driving home that he is emotionally one of the toughest kids I have ever known. To this day, if you need someone to rely on, who will answer the phone, it’s this guy.
My daughter, ah my daughter.. she is a private woman. These days she doesn’t tell me much. Rarely shares anything. But there was a time and I remember those nights well in her later years of high school. The eldest had gone to university. E would be out coaching middle ones hockey team. She would come into to my room to say good night. I would be watching TV and she would snuggle on the bed with me and talk about her day… One night, (May 19, 2005, I looked it up) we watched CSI together. Quinton Tarantino had directed this particular episode, with one of the crime team kidnapped and buried alive, fire ants were involved. I am so glad she was there cause I was freaked out.. haha.. This girl is the brave one. She now works in the downtown east side with the most vulnerable. She walks those dangerous streets sometimes during the middle of the night unfazed. But I remember her laying beside me watching CSI…
What will they remember about me? Hopefully not the times I messed up parenting, lost my temper or disciplined incorrectly. Are there moments when I did it right? There was no instruction booklet when we were given these kids. We were really just making it up as we went along.
Honestly, I remember little of the rough times of my youth with my own mother. For my Mom, I remember her honesty. She never hid from the truth or her unconditional love and support for me.
I hope that my children will remember me for that same unconditional love which I remember of my Mother. It’s what I knew from her and all I ever wanted them to
know from me