Visting Core Memories
I love Inside Out.
Teaching kids socio emotional stuff is the jam. Your kid got an A+ in Math. Wonderful, but please make sure you also prepare your kid how to deal with actual life. What to do when shit hits the fan. How to cope with loss. How to handle disappointment without looking like a douche bag. To know when to shut up. To understand how to support someone in a hard time.
Going home is always an interesting feeling now. It holds this sense of nostalgia. Yet it isn’t home to me any more. The house I grew up in was long ago sold in a bitter divorce. Yet many people I adore and spent a childhood with still live in that area.
I feel floods of memories that I had forgotten when I go visit. I’m just at a point in my life where enough shit has happened that I don’t think about certain things or people that I used to. I think that’s called growing up? You don’t forget because you don’t care. Just too many things start to happen to you. Although my brain is huge, sometimes stuff leaks and falls out of my ears.
ANYWAYS, you still with me?
The school year ended.
I laughed. Laughed because I went into the professional work world knowing that it was best to always be professional at work. Have good polite friendly relationships with coworkers. But leave work at work. Then have your personal life. Yet, here I sit 5 years later and they are my favorite people. My sounding boards. My team mates. My babysitters. My support system.
So that happened.
Now since the next day, I was officially on Summer vacation. I packed up my white wine hangover and my toddlers and went to pay a trip to the place I once called home.
FIRST THINGS FIRST……
After two hours in the car, I got off the highway. Ben opened his eyes from sleeping the ride up and proceeded to puke all over himself.
Pull over. Clean up a sad, confused car sick boy. Throw puke shirt into the woods in anger for knowing that life with kids is ridiculous. Mine as well have your Jeep smell lightly of vomit the whole time you are traveling alone with your two toddlers.
Arrive at Grandad’s.
Explain to Ben why there is no snow in GranDad’s yard. Last time we were here it was Christmas. Considering Ben is two and doesn’t know anything of seasons. All he knows is the last time he showed up at this place it was a white tundra and he rolled in a crap ton of snow. I feel sad for his disappointment. You let him know it’s because it’s June in New England. He nods his head and says, “I’ll have a snack.”
Next you hose the puke crew down. Well one puke monster and one friend who would never miss an opportunity to play in the tub.
Plot how to break as much expensive shit they can find in this kiddies home.
“Alrigjht man, now let’s jump on this Anthropolgie quilt until we throw up.”
“Guys please get down from there.” -Me
Laugh in my face.
“Two Three little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off. Bump his head. Mama is the doctor. Your doctor said…” -Ben
“I don’t think those are the right words.” -Me
“I’m pooping!” -Jack
Once I got the trolls cleaned up, I got to check out my Dad’s latest projects. He is a mason by trade, but he’s an artist to me. I’ve seen him building all kinds of crazy stuff. He does it all by eye. Lays everything dry. It’s mind boggling to me. Personally, I’m not even that good at Jenga.
Then he starts dragging my entourage into projects. Which makes me laugh and makes me unbelievably happy. It pulls up memories of when I was young and my Dad always included us. We genuinely thought we were helping him. As my boys did yesterday. What a powerful thing, to give someone self confidence while growing up. To have the patience to not get angry and let kids be kids. Yet, teach them and show them how to do everything. Include them.
I got to take them to Mama’s first place of employment.
Cherry Hill Ice Cream in Lunenburg, MA goes into my core memories! I got hired at 16 years old. I definitely got hired because my sister already worked there. Anastasia Beaverhousen is an ideal employee, therefore I got a job! Our boss said to my sister after interviewing me, “Wow your sister is so shy and quiet.”
We laughed about that quote for the next decade.
When I was 17 years old. My parents were not yet divorced. They just lived together because they had four kids, 21 years of marriage, and a mortgage. Yet, they hated each other. One day I was sitting up in the loft area of the ice cream barn having a turkey sub. The unfinished upstairs that served as an office area. There was boxes of work t-shirts. I already owned about 2,837 of these shirts. Yet I looked at the smallest one. I thought to myself, one day I’m going to have a family of my own. I won’t leave my kids at there job and not pick them up. Then I tucked the small shirt into my backpack. Then it sat in a box for a lot of years.
Yesterday I gave it to Ben. Took them to the tin can that I spent a ridiculous amount of hours sitting in. Picnic tables that I stood on and sang the National Anthem to crowds of people eating ice cream on the 4th of July. I am loud and tone deaf, but 18 year Britt didn’t give a f about much. It’s funny to think of these things to actually be able to see how far I’ve come. How much I’ve grown as a person. At this point in time 18 year old Britt is just a doppleganger of me. I’m not even the same person.
It was fun to take them back to the place that I first can remember thinking, I can be a good Mom.
And yes, I remember strange thing like that. Deal with it. Can’t remember where I put my f*cking keys, yet I have vivid flashbacks of this ice cream stand. Core memory for sure.
When in Lunenburg..
My Dad’s cousin owns a farm. I played here as a little kid. Going in the barn with the rows of cows used to scare the shit out of me as a little kid. Yet, I loved to explore the fields and woods around it. It’s quite a playground for my little friends.
I love exploring with them on paths that I went on as a little kid.
Oh and did Jack ever get off the tractor? Of course not.
I mean, he had to FaceTime Dad at home to check on the tractor at our house.
“Do you want to talk to Daddy?”
“No I’ll see my tractor.”
“Do you say Hi Dad!”
“I’ll see my tractor.”
Lastly, I could have sworn I heard these bitches saying my Jeep was an “ugly looking cow.”
Couple of bitches.
We had to pay tribute to my originally homies.
Growing up my grandparents lived across the street from this cemetery. My Nana would all of her grandchildren over into the cemetery. We would ride our bikes on all the roads going through it. She would take us over to the old well in the cemetery and have us fill our water cans. Then we would water all the flowers in the cemetery. Nana would tell us, “Some people’s families live far away, so we have to help them out.”
I mean who would bring 6 children to a cemetery? She would.
Because she as the best. The absolute best. Of course she would bring us. Then she would hold us completely accountable. She taught us how to be respectful. Where to walk. How to clean stuff up. Sometimes we would plant flowers. Sometimes we would just walk around and sing songs.
Without even us even knowing it, she taught us all so many things. She would give it to us exactly straight, “Yes these people are dead. It’s very sad. But we have to come and remember the happy times. Come and show our respect.”
We planted flowers and I told the boys about them. The queen of originality. The survivor of having 4 boys within 5 years. A British woman who once climbed out of the stands at my father’s high school basketball game. Marched onto the court and began whacking the teenager who was punching my Father in the face with her enormous purse.
I always wonder what would have happened if she hadn’t died so young. In high school, I definitely would have packed my bags and moved to their house.
If my parents were like “no” you can’t go move in there. 16 year old Britt would have eloquently said, “Yaaa… as much fun as sitting in the front row of your entire childhood fall apart. I’m going to live with Nana. Oh and I’m going to tell her what’s been going on around here and she is going to kick your ass.”
Alas, the what ifs don’t really matter. What’s done is done. I’ll just be thankful for all the time I did have with them.
Then I had Ben clean off Billy’s grave. My parent’s godson.
I feel new pangs of grief now that I am a parent myself. Sometimes the bubble of childhood can protect you from the magnitude of death. Now that I am a parent, I hurt all over again for my Aunt and Uncle.
DONATE: Muscular Dystrophy Association
Two hours later I went over to his Mother’s house. I got to hug his beautiful sisters and tell them that I was proud of them. One just finished her residency. We have a doctor in the family. The Proctor family drafts the most unbelievable pick. All our lives are better because of her. Don’t worry your other sister just got her Master’s in Europe and is about to do some ridiculously cool stuff. NBD. (Hmmm… Side note/Good point, I should make her blog for me.)
Living away from your family when you have kids is really hard for me. I’m an adult, I know we have to all live our dreams. Do our own thing. I’m so proud of all of them. I love where I live.
Yet, I wish we could hang out and ride our bikes thru the sprinkler every day with all of them.
People party hard at GranDads. They play hard. Love hard. Laugh hard. It took me hours to get these crazy overtired beasts to go to sleep in the big boy bed. They both still sleep in cribs at home. Therefore the process of getting them and myself all to sleep in the big bed together was like a small version of the three stooges.
What are your core memories?
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