Watching Noah brings back memories of my childhood – some good, some bad, some just there. Tonight, it’s the happy memories that I choose to let flood my mind.
I laugh as I recall the sandbox in our backyard. My little brother and I were determined to dig to “the other side of the world.” I was only three or four years old. We never even considered the idea that we wouldn’t be able to accomplish this task. Surely, it was just a matter of time and effort.
We dug and dug and dug until we eventually hit a barrier – smooth black fabric – that wouldn’t let us dig any further. Now, I realize that this was black landscape fabric meant to keep the sand separate from the dirt – to keep the bugs and worms out. Then, it was a stubborn barricade that encouraged some creativity to get around. I remember using bricks from the patio, the gardening spade, and really anything we could scrounge up from the yard to break through this barrier. We were so proud when we finally made it through.
Beneath that barrier lay a wealth of life – worms, crawling insects, and more. Surely, we’d made it to the next “layer” of the earth. We were making progress!
But, every day, we’d fill the hole in with sand to conceal our efforts. Little me never realized that we were just un-doing all of our progress every day! Oops.
And, the next day, we’d dig – and dig – and dig – again. And, I remember that it started to feel easier to get “further down.” I suppose that’s because the shale beneath the fabric was gradually being filled in with sand, and, of course, more and more of the sand was ending up outside of the sandbox, in the yard, and in the kitchen. So, there was just less digging to do!
As we dug, the sandbox would get dirty. The dirt we’d dug up would mix with the sand above, and the dirt and sticks would attract more insect life. But, magically, once each year, our sandbox would “get cleaned.” We’d go out one day, and it’d be clean again. No bugs, no dirt, just clean sand. Now, I realize that this was the result of my mom lugging over 1 ton of new sand into our sandbox each year to replace all of the sand we’d tracked all of the yard and the house. Sorry, mom.
Today, I laugh at myself. Little me was actually making progress, I guess. If anything, we were able to take almost a ton of sand OUT of the sandbox each year! But, mostly, I hope that Noah will endlessly try to dig a hole to the other side of the earth because that would mean he believes he can do anything. And one day, I will be the magical fairy that “cleans” his sand each year.
I remember moving when I was even younger than this – newly three, I suppose. I remember sitting on the stairs with my mom the night before our move reluctantly eating raisins that she assured me would make my tummy feel better. I was certain that she thought they’d “fix” my tummy because they looked like little poops, and thus, I really didn’t want to eat them. I’m not sure that I was even sick. Moving day jitters are more likely.
I laugh at Little Me, but I also hope that one day Noah will sit with me in the middle of the night eating raisins – or maybe ice cream?!
I remember being tasked with carrying a 9-pack of toilet paper to the truck during this move. I wanted to help. This pack of toilet paper was almost as big as me, and I remember struggling to find my way down the stairs. I couldn’t crawl backwards with it in my hands. I didn’t want to throw it down the stairs. I couldn’t see my feet if I tried to walk down the stairs. But, I was determined. Now, I realize that my mom must have brought this light-enough-for-me-to-carry item back up the stairs for me to carry down the stairs to keep me occupied. Because there was nothing else left upstairs at the time. And it worked because it kept me occupied for almost the entire move! Good job, mom.
I laugh at Little Me, but I also cannot wait for the day that I give Noah tiny tasks because he desperately wants to help even though they’d have only taken me minutes to accomplish myself.
There are so many things that I hope to teach Noah, but most importantly, I hope that he will one day sit in the living room recounting his favorite (and maybe silly!) memories of his childhood with me as I did tonight.