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Why Are We Here?

And what does it all mean?

So for the past few years that I’ve been a parent, I’ve felt a bizarre sense that I’ve been here before.  And then one day it hit me like a ton of brillo blocks.  I am living out my past life through my children.  

My childhood memories have always been freakishly vivid, much more detailed than the next person.  Unless you also remember the name of the kid seated to your right in 1st grade?  Okay.  Then what about that he ate mayonnaise sandwiches for lunch and once sneezed purple Kool-Aid in the lunch room?  And that he knew all the words to Dancing Queen since he and his brother were allowed to stay-up to watch Solid Gold Saturday Night (lucky punks).  And that he wore a red turtleneck sweater to the honey farm field trip – the same turtleneck he wore in our class picture, the one with the grape juice stain on the collar?  I might’ve made-up the juice stain part.  It could’ve been grape jelly.

Now, as a parent, the memories are flooding back as never before.  I realize this natural phenomenon is a toy company’s dream come true.  I am putty in Mattel’s greedy little corporate hands.  Yes, I confess, my daughter is playing with a Millennium-edition Cabbage Patch doll.  Just as my brother and I once stared haplessly at a pile of Lincoln Logs that my parents no doubt bought for us – which inevitably became door jams or prison shivs or quaint firewood piles outside our highly sophisticated Lego houses.  Perhaps Darwin would be nodding his head right now as I think I’ve just hit on the very reason why we all are here.  Why we procreate, why humanity endures, why we fill with pride and/or disgust when our children’s hair forms into the exact cowlicks we spent much of junior high trying to anchor to our heads with Dippity-Do.  Parenthood assures us that second chance to go back, right our past wrongs, be the cool kid we never were, finally get the Easy Bake Oven, and this time make it through 7th grade gym class without puking. 

So in an attempt to exorcise these memory-simulating demons, and I believe they are in fact demons, or in my case demons in purple legwarmers, I’ve started this blog.  Here I hope to find a safe writing-based outlet that will prevent me from one day sporting matching mother-daughter tube tops while I help host my kid’s high school graduation kegger.  The possibility of offering my children delectable memoir nuggets that they can someday chew-up and spit-out at me is a risk I’m willing to take.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2012 11:31 am

    My story is so, so different. Can you imagine bringing up kids in a country where you didn’t grow up? Picture this: they helped me walk in the snow by holding my hands. Bad? Oh, it’s going to get worse. I still haven’t figured out how high school works… when someone says, “I am junior”, I ask, “WHich grade is that?” And prom, girlfiends????? Those words didn’t even exist where I grew up. I tread softly holding my heart in my hands.(i am not sure that this means anything, but it sounds cool.) I think I should follow you, so I can begin to unlearn. Good blog site and all; congratulations on being Freshly juiced.

    • January 17, 2012 2:12 pm

      I have worked with immigrants/refugees in my past life and it seems one of the hardest parts of parenting in a foreign country would be when your kids end up parenting you to a degree — i.e. translating, etc. Kids are so much quicker to adapt. Good luck to you and your family.

  2. QuiltingMomof4 permalink
    January 21, 2012 12:55 am

    I have read a few of your entries and I am REALLY interested in “Very Special” TV episodes but alas it is way past my bedtime already. I am enjoying what I have read, although I am not a connoisseur of play doh myself. Your picture of that b-day party in 1979 could have come out of MY photo album. And the picture above looks like you are sitting in the family room of the house I grew up in, in front of the fireplace with the brick hearth. The house I grew up in was pretty far from Nebraska, though.

    • January 21, 2012 8:37 am

      Those episodes were so special so maybe when you have time you can read it and marinate in all the specialness.

      Now I’m definitely intrigued about you. Perhaps you lived in a parallel universe on the other side of the continent. Although, you really missed out in not giving play-doh a try. You might regret that for the rest of your life.

  3. February 9, 2012 3:23 pm

    I want to go back and not “lean my chair back” in the cafeteria to have it fold up on me (with me in it) and slide under the table- in front of the entire crowded lunch room. I want to return back to freshman English lit and punch the guy who trips me and I fall in front of the entire classroom, books spewing everywhere! I want to go back and not accidentally toss my retainer into the school dumpster (with my lunch tray) twice!

    Oh my…that list can get quite lengthy. Yes. You could have a whole blog dedicated to that. :)

    Lake Forest, CA

    • February 9, 2012 10:38 pm

      Retainer in the trash can. Check. Me too. I think they should make those things with tracking devices.

  4. May 2, 2013 4:02 pm

    Your memory seems to be quite a gift, so long as you can remain present and enjoy the here and now. Glad I found your blog! Keep writing! :)

  5. May 11, 2016 2:52 pm

    I just discovered your blog and am LOVING IT. I was born in 1978 and am a very nostalgic person, too, so your stories are speaking to me BIG TIME. Kudos! You’re an amazing writer. :-)

    • January 3, 2018 1:27 am

      Only a year and a half late to this party, thank you for your comment!


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