Fairy Tale Mom
Childhood Memories, the thrilling kind

Last night, I had the pleasure of joining some of the Indy Geek Girls for Indy Word Lab. These ladies are funny, smart and so very much fun. I would have gone pretty much anywhere with them, but playing with words is one of my favorite things. The general format for the word lab is to have a speaker for a few minutes and then a prompted writing work shop. After the night’s assignment, you share in a group what you’ve written (if you choose). Tonight the assignment was to choose a memory from your child that was either particularly thrilling or particularly terrifying and write focusing on the extreme nature of childhood emotions and the 5 senses. This is the rough draft I wrote in the time allotted.

This amazingly mundane, Midwestern, vanilla childhood wasn’t scarred by any particularly terrifying events. I won’t be in therapy for years on end to overcome  a great tragedy. In fact, it is all quite the opposite. In all of the humdrum, monochromatic days are scant few glistening moments that could be defined as thrilling. The ones I do recall are made dull by the passing of time and my pragmatic adult memory. But, in equal parts are made brighter and more vivid by sharing them with my not so pragmatic, mostly fabulous brother. He was my constant companion and greatest champion in our youth. And, now in our adulthood he remains my cheerleader and a great friend.

It is my hope that he recalls, in some way, a trip we took with all of our extended family in two grand charter buses to tour the American West. We saw national parks and landmarks that should have been etched into my memory forever. However, the parts that are the most vivid are also some of the most mundane. I remember a table at the back of the bus filled with snacks and drinks. Specifically, I recall the taste of powdered Tang and mixing it into white paper cups filled with water. I remember the seeing “the big kids” riding horses while we hiked a random trail in Colorado.

The most amazing and colorful memory I have was these two giant buses stopping at the peak of some unnamed mountain to see the snow. I felt the cold crunch of the snow in my hands while I wore shorts and summer shoes. I thought it was the funniest most beautiful thing that I had ever seen. My grandmother was there to see my brother and I throw snowballs at each other and giggle as they landed far from their intended targets. My family was filled with visible joy during these moments. Some of my most treasured memories on this trip were not of seeing Mount Rushmore or Devils Tower, but remembering the happiness on our faces through all of the miles we traveled.

I hope he remember this too.

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