We all remember something, be it our first time blowing a hot pink bubble with our gum, or the last thing on the grocery list that the store was out of. Our head is full of remembering, although we can hardly recall half of what we contain there. I have this fear of taking in too much-be it learning in school, or the names of the hundreds of people that I’ve met- so much remembering that my brain will finally meet the maximum point and I’ll have to pick and choose the memories that I want to replace. I know that it’s silly, but it’s a genuine concern of mine. My memories have become symbols of my life: my blessings, harsh pangs of disobedience, ticklish laughter, warm tears- everything that made me who I am today and will become. The pictures and moments that I’ve carefully preserved have proven to be very nearly useless to everyone but me, but the way I use those symbols of my lessons will hopefully create something worth remembering to others.
Regardless, here is one of my memories that still remains vivid in my mind, and even though I was small when it happened, I can still feel the temperature of the day that it occurred on.
Tiny splinters stabbed into the soft pads of my feet as I tripped down the unfinished patio steps. My favorite blue Mickey Mouse shirt hit my bare thighs in rhythm as I ran. Not daring to look behind me, I rushed across the cool grass onto the rocky, dry, dirt that surrounded the newly formed garden. Wincing as my pudgy toes found sharp pieces of gravel, I searched for my plastic spade. Finding a clearing in the small rocks, I began to remove small bits of dusty earth. This was nothing like the big, heavy strokes that my dad had so effortlessly removed hours earlier, plunging the shovel into the ground and bringing it back up with small hills of dirt clods and rocks.
I scowled as the thunk of plastic hitting an underground boulder reached my ears. This shallow, sink of a hole would have to do. Daring a glance at the kitchen window, I met my mom’s questioning gaze with my own mischievous one. Without giving her time to draw conclusions, I dragged the snake of a hose over to my hole, and leapt to the faucet, yelping as I landed on rocks. I hung on the rusty handle until it gave way, then dove into my hole to wait for soft goo to envelope me. I looked up at the patio, triumphantly acknowledging my mom’s stern gaze. I knew that I was in for more than a timeout this time, but I had a small excuse.
My mom has been on the phone and I was bored from lack of attention. It was the first warm day of Spring, and my brother and I had been helping my dad plant the garden. My face lit up at the memory of the green garden hose sending a river down to the new seeds, leaving behind a squishy, cool trail. I knew that permission for me to play in the mud would never be granted, so I mumbled the question under my breath, hoping my mom wouldn’t hear. I had ignored the shakes of her head, and waited impatiently for her to agree with her caller, so that I could pretend that it was meant for me. I eventually grew tired of waiting, and snuck out the door to finally get my wish.
Remembering my triumph, I looked down to view my completed rebellion, and felt my toes curl around dry dirt and bits of gravel as barely a drizzle made its chilly way down. At this rate, I’d never get my mud. I sat there pouting, until I heard the door slam, and saw my dad stomping toward me. After quickly reevaluating my priorities (pouting or freedom from immediate punishment), I leapt up and fled.