We recently had a family garage sale with the same metal money box my grandmother, and then my mother, used for their money-making events.
I guess you can say it’s a family heirloom. The dented, rusty money box is a symbol of a garage sale-loving family. Next weekend we’re going to go to garage sales to spend what we made.
The grandkids helped us with the sale and all day I kept thinking I needed to write down the cute things they were doing and saying. When I told my daughters I sure hope they were keeping good records, they gave me the same look I gave my mom.
When mom gave me baby books for the girls, she said, “write down all the cute things they do. You’ll forget someday.” At the time, I believed I’d never forget their first words, their first tooth, their first step. I pulled the books out recently and I did a really good job the first month, but then the writing became pretty sparse.
When the girls and I get together and start reminiscing about their childhood, it’s funny the things they recall. It’s amazing how much we can forget with each passing year. Sometimes it scares me what I can’t remember, but then I tell myself it’s OK to be a little forgetful. Just leaves more room in the brain for other important stuff – like when to plant tomatoes.
While shopping with all of them recently, while the grandkids were going crazy, the girls told me something I don’t remember saying, but it sure sounds like something I would. To keep them quiet in department stores I’d tell them the mannequins would come alive if they didn’t keep quiet and stay close to their mothers. It kept the oldest one in line as she took everything I said literally, but there were never any words or magic to keep the youngest one intact. It seems as though I spent a lot of time hunting for her as she’d hide in the middle of the circular clothes racks. It’s no wonder the first born became the most serious of the bunch as she spent time watching and worrying what her little sister might do next.
A couple of weeks ago on Take Your Kid to Work Day, I emailed my grown-up daughter at her grown-up job at a law firm to say I missed having her with me on this special day. She emailed back that she missed it too, although I’m sure she was just being polite.
Baby books could never hold the wonderful memories I have of all the things they said or did, which made being their mother the most satisfying and rewarding thing I’ve ever had the privilege to do.
And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I had grandkids.
Happy Mother’s Day to me.
Sandy Turner is a GateHouse Media columnist.