What The Memory Points To.
Pandora played the selected "George Winston Holiday" station (I know. It's early. But it's my year-round comfort-music station) and Perry Como's version of "Do You Hear What I Hear?". Instantly the smell of salty homemade dough ornaments and the sight of my Holly Hobby comforter awash in the glow of the blue bulbed electric candle perched on my bedroom window reintroduced themselves to my mind. Neither the memory of actually making the ornaments or watching my mom screw in the blue bulb to the seasonal window lights were part of the recollection. I really cannot remember any of details of how they came to be, but their end results came on cue with Como's velvet crooning question.
Both are simple memories that rushed through two more than two decades to the doorstep of my present reality and in doing so, they reminded me of what is easy to forget ... and even incur guilt over. It is this:
Motherhood is far more the environment I create than the activities I do.
Like me, they may forget the exact details but they will remember the essence over them.
My job is not to stress over the particulars of doing everything perfectly. My focus is better focused creating an environment which tells them they are secure in my love, safe in my care.
This is why when the cookies we made together ended with me wishing for a one-way ticket to Tahiti, or when I banished them from the kitchen to whip up a dozen all by myself, it is not a failure. What they'll remember most is the cookie and what it represented. Mom was present, she presided over me and I was loved.
Blue lights, homemade ornaments, or Perry Como...whatever it is is not the point of the memory for a child. It is what that memory points to that counts.
We who are looked up to by little children, mama's or aunties or caretakers or teachers...
we can take a deep breath, know we aren't being graded on the perfection of process, rather
we will be known for the memories that speak of safety, security and love.