“Tell me a story, mama.”
Every night when I go through the bedtime routine with my son, he asks me to tell him a story. A real story.
He likes stories with drama and danger the best. Like that time I got a flat tire going 60 mph down I-84. Or when the security guards at JC Penney used to duck behind garment racks when they were trying to catch someone stealing.
The problem is my memory is TERRIBLE when it comes to these little, every day memories and experiences. Especially ones from decades ago.
I’m not sure what I’m doing with all my brain cells, but saving up countless stories to tell my 7-year-old is definitely not on the list.
I have found the more I tell him stories, the more I jog my memory about something else. However, my life has not been THAT exciting. I’m running out of G-rated danger and drama stories for the blood-thirsty kid.
Tangible items also help jog my memory. Seeing a picture from a trip, for instance. Or picking up a childhood momento or souvenir.
One such ‘souvenir’ that inevitably makes it home from day trips, vacations and walks around the block are rocks.
If you’re the parent of little kids, you probably have a washing machine full of rocks. Oy!
For the rocks that are purposefully collected, I typically dump them into a special bowl. The pocketfuls of gravel…those go back to nature.
It dawned on me one day (thanks, brain cells) that if I write a date and location on the rocks, I’ll have another way to jog my memory about a really cool moment in time.
I have this rock from 2004, which I collected in South Dakota while on a road trip with my dad. We saw Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore and hundreds of miles of fields.
I have this rock from my mom. It was purchased, not found.
She gave me a handful of heart-shaped rocks over the years. I had moved away from home when she started this gesture and I think it was her way of telling me her heart was always with me. Or, perhaps, I was never far from her heart.
Either way, message received and cherished.
Here’s one from recently.
My son found this rock on the beach in Ireland.
It was one of those perfect, freeze time sort of days. I hope I will always remember his little voice saying, “Mama! Mom! Look at this one!”
I could show you more, but you don’t have all day and I’m getting uncomfortably sentimental over these darn memory rocks.
Happy collecting, friends. Your memory will thank you later.
P.S. Don’t swipe rocks from places where it’s not allowed. The planet thanks you. Over and out.