I remember our solo shopping trips to K-Mart. It was just for a couple of hours And I was my mom’s shopping buddy, Helping to push the cart and being surrounded by endless options available in the aisles. A girl could get lost for an hour or two Just browsing and dreaming in the toy department. After our shopping was complete, We would go get an Italian grinder to share. It was always a highlight and bittersweet Because it meant our shopping trip was coming to an end. Plus, shopping always gives me an appetite. And not just for the potential goods and wares But the fulfillment that each item promises. I wonder what memories I’m creating today That my children will cherish into their adulthood. We never know what impression will make its mark When we’re living the moment in real-time as it occurs. It’s only in hindsight and reflection That our memories get formed and shaped Later to be accessed again at a future date. To be determined. We never know when a scent, a sound or a view will recall that memory back into focus to embody that time and space once again.
I don’t remember being born or how I came to be. I arrived and here I am. I don’t remember the very early years, So dependent on my mom. Her love, her safety The spaces we occupied. My first memory I remember is when I was two. My siblings and I were playing with a plastic toy house. My uncle blew cigarette smoke through the second-story windows. It was such a delight to see the shape, the form the floating vapors that defied gravity. I remember winters of sledding down the hill in the backyard on my mom’s childhood Flying Arrow sled. The joy and momentum of the downhill slope. I remember our swing set with metal frames and hard plastic seats that brought me to far away places only in my mind. I remember learning to roller skate for the first time. Clinging to the side wall as I found my balance, my courage, and eventually my confidence to skate on my own with grace and speed. There are so many moments that I may not remember. But the ones I do are cherished. And they connect me to my siblings and stand the test of time as they shaped and formed who I am today.
My pink bike with the banana seat was my most treasured Christmas present. I couldn’t wait to take it for a spin with the training wheels. We had a long driveway perfectly safe for learning balance and feet coordination. Never veering too close to the busy street. My mom‘s attention to help me learn was unwavering.
Soon the training wheels were a deterrent. I couldn’t go as fast as my strong capable legs wanted to go. My older brother’s mongoose bike mocked my wicker basket with the burgundy flower while I took my doll for a slow ride.
The training wheels were removed. Fear: Can I do it? It was no longer up to my mom to teach me. I was on my own for the first time. And it seemed to come to me so easily, so natural like riding a two wheeler was a birthright. So I rode grooves into the driveway.
Oh, the places I’d go if only in my imagination. Especially during those long summers when we had nowhere to go. I went on adventures to places in my dreams like Rocky Point or Disney. Places I longed to go. My imagination held no bounds or borders. I could come and go as I pleased.
Here there was no map only the compass of my mind and heart. We were free. A first taste of independence and proof that I was more than capable to learn, grow and expand across the wild imagination of my mind.