Saturday, November 07, 2009

Puppy feet

(Red) Crocs on land
Laval, QC, August 2009

[Click here for more red-themed goodness]

Our youngest son, Noah, has what we like to call puppy feet. Big feet for his size that we know he'll eventually grow into. They make an already sweet boy that much sweeter. His red Crocs are another Noah hallmark: unpretentious, practical, sometimes loud, oh so cute and bound to make even complete strangers smile.

As he swam in the outdoor pool at his grandparents' building, I grabbed this quick, pseudo-artsy picture because I liked the color and texture. In retrospect, however, the picture, like so many others that I took on that last trip home before my father died, has taken on an additional layer of meaning.

My father loved this pool, and came here even when he wasn't feeling well to soak up the blink-and-it's-gone summer weather and duke it out with his neighbors on whatever political issue was bugging him that day. Before our brood would leave London for a visit to Montreal, he'd make sure we were bringing our bathing suits, because this was where he wanted to spend time with his grandchildren. I've got to believe that this unassuming slice of concrete, water, trees and grass will also hold many memories for our kids as they grow into adults.

It's not as if our family hasn't been there before. For me and my maternal grandfather, that memorable place was the park in front of his house. We'd sit on the benches in the thick forest at the edge of it and watch the squirrels scamper about. He'd tell me stories and I'd do my best to keep up with him. It was one of the few places in the world where I knew I could always return and feel as if I was right back there with him. And even today, as I drive by this very park on the way home from the hospital where I practically grew up, I flash back to these long-ago moments and think of how lucky I am to have such memories.

I hope we've done a good enough job with our own kids that they see this place in a similar light, and hold onto their grandfather as I have held onto mine.

Your turn: From generation to generation. Why do these connections matter so?


Jeremiah Andrews said...

I think it's called Place memories. when I dream, it is of places in my past that resonate within me. Places that mean something to me with certain people there as well. Mt grandparents houses - the local church yard, my aunts old home.

These are all important spaces to you and your children. Hopefully they have inherited the same affinity towards these places as you have.

It seems to me that place memories evoke memory or specific lessons learned there.


Pamela said...

and the smells that evoke memories, too.

Maybe it has something to do with the yearning for eternity.

I never want to say goodbye to anything...

kenju said...

I think we link back to the times in our lives when we were happy and carefree; when we were loved (and we knew it) by parents and grandparents and pets and friends.

Cloudia said...

When the Phillies lost the world series last week I cried thinking of seeing last year's triumph with my Dad......gone now....

Aloha, Friend

Comfort Spiral said...

I wish I knew the answer to that question! I am obsessed with memories and cherish the time I have left to remember them. I love the way you share your story Carmi its quite refreshing.

awareness said...

Why do they matter so? I believe it is our way of grabbing hold of the eternal. It allows our ancestral thread to broaden beyond ourselves and the present moments when we are aware of life as it is. It ties us to a larger piece of humanity and it somehow gives the concept of time a different feel to it. Lastly, I think we all thrive more fully when there is a sense of belonging flowing through our souls.

I also posted a photo of red crocs this weekend!

Mojo said...

I don't know that there are any places -- physical locations I mean -- that are stops on my Magical Memory tour. Off hand, I can't think of any at least. Perhaps because my extended family was always so scattered that we didn't see very much of them when I was young.

I suppose if I think long enough I might come up with one or two, but at the moment... bupkes.

Kay said...

not normally a fan of reproduction, I am glad to hear you seem very sincere and endearing, coming from a loving family that I am sure has always been proud of you, and your children, too, will carry on that charisma. Goes to show, any theory could be contridicted.