I've been doing a little cleaning around the abode, and I found sleepers that belonged to my son first, and then my daughter wore them. I found her lacy dresses and a t-shirt he chose for her, that proclaims her his little sister. I ran across photos of them that I don't even remember taking.
I've often wondered why my mom and dad didn't keep our toys or books or clothing. They hardly took pictures. Touching these things that belonged to my babes brings back memory after memory. I feel as if I've taken a vacation through those lovely moments, and it's almost hard to return.
Today, I brought my daughter's clothes to her house, and as we were looking through the sweet, albeit dated outfits, her friend said her mom was like mine and hadn't kept anything. I loved sharing my daughter's happiness that she could use her things with her baby girl, and I shared her sweet friend's wistful feelings that she wouldn't have that.
So--I'm actually a little sorry that I didn't keep every little thing. Last night I washed and dried and folded laundry I never knew I'd clean again.
It was pure joy.
Tonight, I showed my daughter this picture of her brother, who smiles like his niece.
We write stories about love and community. We celebrate the warmth and continuity of family, the saving grace of loving each other, depending on a love that doesn't set conditions, affection that is the softest place to land.
Let me be honest--I learned most about love and family, loving these children and their father, creating the memories that I've walked through, reliving them this past weekend.
So glad I kept them all, all this time. So glad I get to love their children now. So grateful for this life.
I'd love to hear about your sweetest memories--or a moment that's taken you back to them.
My next story was also born in my childhood memories. I created a town called Bliss, in Tennessee, because living in those mountains was so blissful. The next story in the Smoky Mountains series is A Christmas Miracle, available in November.