I wish I knew more about my mother’s childhood. I would ask her, from time to time, and she only spoke in generalities. When she gave details, it was the same, few, select stories – trophy stories that we all share, except it seemed in my mom’s case that these were all she had, like some kind of Manchurian candidate raised from a little girl to infiltrate…motherhood.
My mom’s stories were usually not remarkable which makes them all the more difficult for me to remember, now, as they mix in with my memories of my own mundane. For example, she would if pressed often relate how she wasn’t always a good girl, because she snuck out of school for Senior Sneak. I mean, that was the story – she left school. No details that I can remember about what she and her friends did; I mean, I always assume that after sneaking out with her classmates that she did go do something with them. But right now I have no idea what.
My father, on the other hand, had many stories, which were often recounted when he was together with his brothers… and they were rascals! Like when my dad ripped open his forearm while horsing around with his brothers in the hayloft, or when he rolled his older brother’s car while he was away at… basic training? Stories of how he lost that one fingernail, or ditching school on multiple occasions, or passes at girls, or working for other farmers during the summer… and my recollection here grows broader, because the stories I was told were so numerous and so rich.
I want to make sure my stories are not forgotten. That what life was like for me as a child is not lost on the next generation.