Monday 18 April 2011

Memories in the making

We're going on holidays tomorrow. Not to London or New York liked we hoped to do this year, just a week next to the beach on the far north coast of NSW. We will go to Dreamworld, so for the kids it will be better than Europe. It's going to be our very last family holiday as a family of four.

Last night, my sister-in-law made an off-hand comment about the lovely memories Lil-lil will have of this holiday, now she's at an age she'll remember. My first thought was: "Oh God, she'll now remember my inadequate parenting." My second thought was: "I wonder what things she'll remember from this time in her life?"

She'll certainly remember playing in the park with her neighbourhood mates, she does that every. single. day. I'm sure she'll remember driving around in the back of our car singing The Lovecats at the top of her lungs, music is something that sticks in your memory. She will probably remember the excitement of Dreamworld.

I have memories of being quite young, while my brothers laugh at me and say I'm making it up, I put this down to moving around to quite distinctly different places in just a couple of years. I can pinpoint memories rather than them just mushing all into one if I'd lived in the same home. My young memories are of quite random things though, not the significant milestones.

I vividly remember standing on the front lawn of our house in Trinidad one evening and hearing Another One Bites the Dust floating up the street from a club or a house or something.
I remember a shop in Trinidad having seagulls hanging from the ceiling. I remember driving around with my mum and brothers getting ready for a party we were having, I got told off for something, so I decided: "I'll show them. I'll pretend I'm asleep." I really fell asleep and then woke hours later in the back of the car in the driveway with a whole group of kids looking in the window at me.
I remember driving near the local 'Haunted House' and my brothers telling me a machete-wielding maniac lived there and being completely terrified.

Whenever I taste really cheap, plastic-y mayonnaise, I'm transported back to when I was a preschool in the US and being told my mum was going to be late picking me up. I think I choked on the sandwich and threw a big tantrum about not being picked up on time.

I remember driving around the US in the back of my dad's car listening to Hotel California and Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree, which is weird cause I can't see my jazz-obsessed Dad liking either song and voluntarily playing them on his 8-track (hey, it was early 1981).

I remember when we came home to Sydney with all these gifts for our cousins and aunties and uncles and thinking: "Who are these strange people and why are we giving them all this good stuff?"

I remember having dinner with my grandfather and cousins at a Chinese restaurant and my cousins laughing at me because I said 'sidewalk'. Again I wondered why we were seeing these people and giving them presents when they obviously had no idea about anything.

I can't wait to hear what odd details Lil-lil will remember from this time in her life. I hope the memories are golden ones, or at least not of my inadequate parenting!


  1. It is funny what your children remember as they grow up into adults. Not the things I think they would remember and certainly not the way I view them in my own memory. I think back to living in a shed and not having running water for a while - I think that must have been hard on the kids. But they all now talk about this part of their lives with such intensity and longing to have it all back again. It is so wonderful to hear them talk about it. It just one example and it never ceases to amaze me that we all view life through our own rose coloured glasses. Cheers, Wendy

  2. I think we mothers are only inadequate in our own minds! I'm sure she'll have all kinds of unusual and lovely memories that you wouldn't be able to guess at. The things my kids come up with amaze me. I hope you have a wonderful time at the beach! x

  3. I have a memory of being in a room (which I can describe perfectly down to furniture placement) I was being held in someone's arms and there was an old man in a bed, almost skeletal because he was so thin.
    A long, long time ago when I shared this with my mom she gasped because I had perfectly described them taking me to see my Uncle before he passed away. I was only a year or so old.
    That being said, there are things I think my kids will remember (that I wish they wouldn't) and they indeed do not ~ but memories I want them to have, like Liam going to London with me in 1999 when he was almost 5 are kind of hazy.

    Have a wonderful time making wonderful memories and I hope to hell someone will retrieve your package if it arrives while you are gone!
    I cannot wait to hear what you think of it ~ it is brimming with surprises for all 4 of you!

  4. My first thought would be the same as yours... but I don't think we need to worry.

    I'd love to know more about your childhood. Trinidad and the US? How amazing. x

  5. Wow! There are some fine memories you have there. I just love how childhood memories can stick out and then others only rise to the surface with the mention of a song or event from the time.
    I worry about what my boys will remember also, but we probably shouldn't be too concerned, I think like our own memories, they'll be mainly fond ones.
    Have a wonderful, fun, dreamworldly holiday :o)


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