Last week was Spring Break for the kiddos. Spending time with them on breaks makes me reflect back and remember all the fun we had as kids. My mom always planned trips to amusement parks, to the beach, etc when we were home from school. I remember staying up late and watching old classic movies with her. Those memories are precious and I hope to make many memories with my kids that they will someday cherish.
We started out our break with a trip to Disneyland. Here’s a fun picture to share with you :)
After lunch, we went on the Winnie-The-Pooh ride. As I sat next to my daughter in the “honey pot”, I couldn’t help but remember the last time I had been on that ride. My daughter was only a year old and my entire family had gone to Disneyland for my birthday. My mom was Winnie-The-Pooh’s biggest fan. She was a Head Start teacher and had lots of Pooh shirts, toys, collectibles, etc. So it goes without saying that she insisted on going on the ride that day. She was thrilled to sit with her grandbabies, singing and grinning and sharing in the magic of the ride.
Sitting on the ride (back to present day), my mind began to wander a little bit. Sometimes I can’t help but to think about what life would be like if mom didn’t have dementia. I know I shouldn’t torture myself like that, but some days it’s hard to push those thoughts away. We used to do so much together as a family. I found myself wondering, if mom were still “here”, would she have been with us that day? Would she be sitting on the ride with us right then? I could almost picture her beside me, singing Tigger’s song, “The wonderful thing about Tiggers…”
There was another night during spring break when my husband went to a hockey game with a friend. I decided to have a movie night with the kids and that sentimental part of me longed for those days when I had movie nights with my own mom over break. I wanted to give my kids some culture and expose them to the classics, like my mom did for me. Our movie pick that night was “West Side Story”. That movie became one of my and mom’s favorite movies to watch together. I found myself, sprawled out on the couch with my kids, singing along to all of the songs as if it had been merely days since I’d last seen the movie, rather than years. My kids indulged me and seemed amused with my singing and dramatics and it dawned on me: I was becoming my mom! She used to do the same thing- dramatically sing along to the movie, sometimes with gestures and all! I can still see her standing in our living room, fist to her chest, chin tilted up with a smirk on her face as she belted out the words (in a fake Puerto Rican accent) to the song “I feel pretty”. In fact, she didn’t need the movie rolling in the background to sing that one; she sang that song to me frequently.
I miss my mom a lot; I miss her so much that sometimes (oftentimes) it hurts. But there are little memories of her everywhere. I’m so grateful for all the fun memories that she has left me with. When my kids seem slightly embarrassed that I’m making them wear matching shirts to Disneyland or that I’m being a cheese-ball and singing during our movie nights, I know that someday they will look back at these memories with a fondness in their hearts.