WHAT I REMEMBER ABOUT 3
I’m not even sure I was 3. Maybe I was almost three. Or maybe I was 4. But for some reason today, I remember it as 3. And this is how it was for me, at 3.
I woke up from a nap in Mom and Dad’s waterbed. I was laying in Mom's arms. She was still, and cozy and so was I. There were cookies and two cups of milk half empty on the nightstand. And it was just me and my mommy. That’s it. And all I can remember is how I felt. Warm. Cozy. And safe. It was my childhood. I couldn’t tell you what I was wearing, or what color the carpet was, maybe (dark orange), or what part of the year or where everyone else was, but this is what I remember about 3.
I think maybe nap time was a very important time for mom and I. I believe I had pre-school till 12 and nap time followed. And I was baby number 3 for mom and so I’m pretty sure this nap was crucial while the older two were at school. But what I know for sure is I woke up in momma’s arms and she was always there. Every single time.
Remembering this about 3 and why I remember it this way is sort of mind boggling. Like, how my brain works to remember those details and what that means. And this is the only thing that I came up with.
Today, in 2018, I’m a busy mother of 3. I live, love, breathe and repeat every day. And I try with all my might to do it right and do it well. And I know for sure that none of it is perfect or sensational all the time, or ever, but I do know how I feel and how my children might feel as well. And when they need my attention, or ask for it, I intentionally lean in and try to make it count. Most of the time it’s a crazy balance of “please go outside and play so I can do the dishes and the laundry” and or “come here I wanna cuddle you till your face comes off.” Because 3 kids. Because life and family life, including marriage, school and any extracurricular chaos and trying desperately to work part time to feel creative and hopefully somewhat feel like a normal person, is all part of the equation.
And so balance. But if you're a mother like me, It’s also somewhat impossible to attain that balance all the time. But what I do hope for in my quest for wanting my children to experience joy and love in many facets of their childhood, I want them to be able to remember how they felt at age 3.
Because for better or worse, it goes so fast. And as I navigate motherhood and the wondrous journey that it is every day, I want my children to one day be able to reflect back and remember how I made them feel.
The trips to California, the rides on the airplanes, the first time in the Hawaiian Pacific blue ocean will all be moments of beautiful reflection one day, but I hope when they reach their adulthood and have children of their own, they can remember the distinct and clear beauty of what it felt like to be held. And to be cuddled close. And to truly, unconditionally, be loved.
That is what I remember about 3.
My childhood was filled with color brighter than the sun. It was magnificent and imperfect and there were compelling moments and lessons. And I have visions in my head of the actual reel of magical life that it was. And for some reason what I remember about 3 was my mother. My beautiful, brave and tired and probably stressed mother, holding me, rubbing my back. And sharing cookies. And for the life of me I’ll never be able to understand why it’s that memory that keeps popping back up in my head. But it will never go away. And I think it's because I need to be sure I'm doing my best. And I'm putting the busyness and the messiness of life down, and I'm getting on that swing and I'm soaking in the sunshine with them, when they're 3. And knowing that feeling, is exactly the feeling I want for them. I want to know that it's possible for them to feel what I felt then and still feel that today as a grown woman. Because whatever memory Mom left me with of 3, is clearly something not only I can live with, but something I can hold onto, forever. And that feeling, is immeasurable. So, note to self and my daily intentions. That is what 3 felt like to me.