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Memories and Childhood

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 Reminding ourselves of Escape.

Memories of our children can be fleeting. Do you have moments where you look at your grown children and just think about them as young toddlers? Lately, as a mother of two young adults, I find myself in a space of thinking of when they were young. Memories and childhood are ways to find the warmth. To find the escape.

The moment passes quickly. Embedded within your mind is that moment. The moment when the sprinkler goes on, and she jumps. This type of memory is that moment of escape. A core piece that we witness our children go through that reminds us of fun; of life and of joy.

This is the marking the moment of escape. This cherished moment takes you to another place. Another time when the day consisted of trying to find time to work, and then find time to play. The search for daycare, the carving out of time to explore the city were all part of the day.

Motherhood without guilt

I remember when my day was spent walking through the streets of Toronto pushing a stroller. There was a this sense of “mom zombie” looking for others just like me. For some, thinking that motherhood is a walk in the park is just wrong.  Going to the drop in center to socialize my daughter. To just get around other people. These were the pieces of being a mother that was not the best.

But then there were moments of pure joy. Of going for a bike ride with my daughter being towed in the tailer. We would go to the park. Playing in the wading pool, or going to the beach and throwing in rocks into the lake. Little moments where there is motherhood without guilt. A way to think of memories and childhood that enables us to be in that moment.

Memories and childhood are the inspiration.

It are these moments that are the inspiration for my new series Mothers Memories Project. As my new series develops, these are the little moments that will be surfaced. To celebrate the escape in order to remind ourselves that escape is a way of survival. A distraction. Motherhood can be isolating but it can also be rewarding. Of course, it can. The goal is to isolate, highlight and celebrate these moments.

The best part about memory is the ability to choose the good.

Ways to Remember

In looking at memories and how they are formed; there are two ways that memories and childhood embed; individualist and collectivist.

The “individualist” are those isolated moments. It seems that the only way that these moments appear in our child’s memory is if we elaborate on the moment. Description of the colours, the events are described and the child is encouraged to remind themselves of this moment. This type of memory recall is not usual in our family, Lately I have been trying to find out if they kids have these specific memories and it doesn’t seem to rise to the surface. Yet I have them. The little moments of spending time with them when they forced me to think of something else than work.

The “Collectivist” memory has more of an impact. It is the sense of your family and the experiences that relate to the larger social responsibility. That which references the nurturing, caring and value of respect for others in the group. These are the type of memories that my kids have. They are very clear about how supportive, thoughtful and empathetic they should be. These traits seem to come through when I ask them about their childhood.

Looking at these two ways of “memory”, the collectivist would seem the best way. Yet those little individualist moments give me the escape place of warmth that I yearn for.

To just be back in that moment.

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