You know how there are these flashes of memory that you have from the earlier parts of your life?
I guess that’s how all memories are, just the snippets you remember with no filters. You remember how you felt and what you thought.
I remember in kindergarten, I was leaning back in my chair, and I fell backward onto the birthday tree. The birthday tree had a series of hooks along the bottom (looking back, what the hell was that even doing there?), and I caught one of the hooks with the seat of my pants as I fell.
The teacher took me out into the hall to check my butt and make sure I hadn’t hooked any more than my clothes. The rest of the day, I was teased about how some kid who was out in the hall had seen my butt.
It wasn’t particularly traumatic or life changing, but I still remember that, 25 years later.
I think of things like this every time I discipline my kids, or do something to teach them a lesson. I wonder if the decision I’m making will be the memory they hold on to for life.
Ava’s class went on a field trip today.
They were going to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and having an Easter egg hunt. She was supposed to take her Easter basket for the hunt, so she out it out last night and remembered to wear her “Wild About First Grade” shirt.
This morning, we all got up and got ready for the day. I gave Ava some change in case she needed a little money of her own, we all sat around, and they got on the bus and left for the day.
A bit later, Dan sent me a message saying that the bus driver had called him, and that Ava had forgotten her Easter basket.
I should say here that my kids are always forgetting their crap. Folders, lunches, backpacks. They’re scatterbrained and flighty because, well, they’re kids.
But I didn’t take her her basket.
Had I taken it immediately, I would’ve gotten stuck in the early morning traffic of car riders. Lucy had just gone down for her morning nap, and I had no clue when the field trip caravan was leaving for Alabama.
So I decided that next time maybe she would be a bit more vigilant about remembering her things.
I feel awful about it now, picturing her finding Easter eggs with a plastic grocery bag or a paper sack, and I wonder if this is one of those memories she’ll pull up in 20+ years, and wonder why I couldn’t have just taken her the damn basket.
Lesson learned, or scarred for life?