What is Five Minute Friday? Five Minute Friday is a weekly link up from mom blogger Lisa-Jo Baker.
We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday
No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
Today’s prompt is, ‘What your mama did that made her yours …’
“You only remember the bad things about your childhood, don’t you?”
My mum says this to me one holiday time sitting round the lounge, everyone there, reading, playing board games, nursing little ones, watching TV.
It seems in my memory that everyone stopped and looked at me to see what I would say. I made hard work of my past in those days, all through college, into my marriage and the first years of my first child. A habitual picking at the bone and an axe to grind, grind, grind. A free floating anxiety that I tried to anchor down to a miserable childhood that I could barely find.
In my childhood the summers were hot and for most of the time I was in trouble. But memory is not always correct. It selects what it likes from a catalogue and pieces it together, bespoke. Memory has its own director’s cut, its own radio edit. When it comes to memory we can exercise choice.
I’m so glad she had the courage to ask and I’m so glad I replied, “No, not at all mum, I remember lots of good things.”
And suddenly I did: hair ribbons and clean sheets blowing in the wind, fresh strawberries in a colander, a small brown bird caught in the fruit cage.
Hours with colouring books and spelling lists, costumes for shows, the jam pan on the stove, flip flops, sun beds and having my fringe trimmed with the big dress making scissors.
Cherries in a paper bag, the click of her knitting needles and the whole caravan shaking us to sleep, library books and walks on the beach, Scramble, Mastermind and TV dinners, sandwiches in the garden, rag dolls and home sewn dresses, dancing lessons, piano lessons and all that hard work with the Hoover and the duster, Radio 2 playing in the background, dust particles catching the sun light streaming in the front window.
Let those of us with pain in our past deal with it quickly and deal with it well. Let us get help where we need it and make haste. Let us be decisive least our pain comes back to haunt us and our children.
Let us give thanks where we can and forgive who we can and when we can not let us ask God for more grace because we owe it to our mothers and to the mother we want to be.
We are bigger than bad memory and so is He.