Friday, April 25, 2008

What do memories taste like?

I remember my Mom making chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. Always the same, chocolate cake and vanilla frosting in a sheet pan - the kind with the matching locking plastic see-through lid - never vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. Chocolate sheet cake with vanilla frosting.

She was not a baker, my Mom. The cake was probably from a box and the frosting pre-made. She didn't even care for baking, she probably had a new pan and wanted to get good use out of it, and the cakes were rare and always unexpected. But I remember that cake being the tastiest confection ever to cross my young lips. Even better than birthday cake.

Chocolate single layer sheet cake with vanilla frosting.

I've been playing that memory in my head a lot lately. I have no idea why. My Mom probably did a million and one other thoughtful things for us and I can't for the life of me remember any of those. Just the sheet cake, chocolate with vanilla frosting.

I've also been remembering how she never seemed to have time to help me use my Easy Bake Oven. Though I would beg her constantly to let me play with it, she never had the time to help me take it out of its box, assemble it and then supervise me mixing up the brownie batter and placing it under the hot light of the "oven". And she required that she be present when I was using it. So the toy was hardly used. I really resented her for that. I guess I still do.

Two memories, similar in theme but not having really anything to do with each other. And yet, they've stuck with me all these years, especially these past few weeks. If I think really hard I can remember other things about her as I was growing up but those memories don't come as easily. I have no idea why.

Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and Easy Bake ovens.

I've been short with Chicky these past few weeks. Losing my patience quickly. My temper flaring for no reason. She begs me to play with her until I need to speak firmly that, no, Mama can't play in the sandbox with her and, no, Mama can't get on the floor and play with the doll house. And she looks hurt. Will she remember those times? Will she remember all the times I made her peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, with cut up strawberries and pea pods, just because she loved them so or the pink cupcakes I made for her birthday? Will she remember anything from this time at all?

Will she remember the chocolate cake with vanilla frosting or the Easy Bake oven? I wish I knew. I guess we won't know until a long time, 20 or 30 years from now, and by then I'll have forgotten to ask.

19 comments:

Jess Riley said...

I think Chicky Baby will remember so many of the wonderful things you did for her...and she'll probably tell you these happy memories when she's older, too. ("Hey mom, remember when..?") :)

kgirl said...

If you want her to remember all of the wonderful things you do for her, just take a page from The Jewish Mother's Big Book of Guilt, and keep reminding her ;)

Heather said...

Well, I suppose she'll have both types of memories...just like you do. And they're both valid memories and each has their place. When she's a mom she'll see that you didn't WANT to disappoint her, but sometimes you have to take care of MOM too. And it's just not that easy to play in the sandbox when you're growing another human.

My kids are disappointed in me all the time, but they still love me. Who knows why?

I never had an Easy Bake Oven. Maybe I'm missing out by not getting my daughter one?

Velma said...

I think Heather is right - she'll remember them both, and a million other good and bad moments that have yet to happen. :)

Blog Antagonist said...

Oh, this one gets me right in the heart, because I've never been one of those moms who plays with her kids a great deal. I talked to them a lot, I read to them, I took them to the park, the playland, local attractions... but going "Vroom vroom" for an hour made me want to poke out my eyeballs. I tried, but they always knew I was miserable. I have always felt badly about that. I wonder if my kids will resent me for it someday.

motherbumper said...

Get out of my head Mrs. Chicky, it's crazy in there. This post really struck a leaky eye moment for me - it's something weighing so heavy on my shoulders right now. I just keep telling myself that she will remember the great thing, she will remember the poor things, she will remember I'm not perfect but will they love me any less? I doubt it.

flutter said...

she will

Katie said...

My 8 year old daughter hated me last night AND told me I probably hated my parents sometimes when I was 8. . . I don't think I did, I think I waited until I was 14 or 15 to hate them but still. . . ~sniff~

petite gourmand said...

I'm sure she'll remember all the great things you do for her, and if by chance she forgets...she will hopefully have this wonderful blog as a reminder.

saltgirl said...

All I remember from my mom is the easy bake oven which is why I'm mostly sandbox with my son. I think as long as you let your kids know you love them - they'll understand when they get older.

Jozet at Halushki said...

Oh, I think she'll remember.

First of all, take plenty of video. ;-)

Second of all, you're already doing way more than my mom ever did with me. She did things of course, but getting down on the floor and playing with me was not her forte. However, allowing me to help her make meatballs and eat the raw meat was pure joy, no matter the puking afterwards.

There's always so much I want to do with my kids, but never enough hours in the day.

kittenpie said...

I wonder about these things, too, especially this last winter, when I was so cranky. I hope she remembers more of the things we do now, more of the times when I am not too tired, but it's hard to tell.

I was just saying to my family tonight, though, the way I always think of my one granny when I see M&M cookies or apricots, her favourite fruit, and the other is always brought to mind by brandy bean chocolates and by corn flakes or special K. Funny how much we associate food with memories, even though they say smell is the stronger sense memory.

crazymumma said...

For me memory is smell. The other day the girls asked me to come and look at something but I was too busy. Often times I would like to put down what I am doing and go and look at the small thing that they need to share.

Easy Bake ovens. I had one, I have such a cool visual of it in my head. It is so different than the one I have for my girls. The one I hate taking out and setting up and monitoring. Funny.

Redneck Mommy said...

Recently, my husband asked me to think of a few warm memories of my mother and my childhood.

I still can't remember any.

How I wish for a chocolate cake and vanilla icing.

I'm determined to do better with my kids.

mothergoosemouse said...

My mother refused to buy me an Easy Bake oven. How I wanted one of those...

I wonder the same things you do. Especially since most of my earliest memories are of the bad and sad stuff.

mo-wo said...

Yum.

Your Mom. A limited but effective goodie repertoire.

We will be remembered for our most ordinary deeds won't we?

Pendullum said...

Scooter is ten,and I like to ask her what she remembers.... Her memories, as they are so different from my own...
She has totally forgotten how I would take her to the park and we would spend hours together, she has forgotten all the times we played Barbies...
But she can remember how the sun was when her late Uncle pulled up in the car with his legs hanging out for comic effect(she was all of three years of age), she remembers our talks, and she remembers my cousin teaching her to play checkers, she remembers when her dad let go of the bike and she cycled for the first time...
I suppose I try to keep her memories alive by asking her about her memories.... Always interesting to hear and brings a tear to my eye in what she forgets...

mamatulip said...

I totally get this post.

Totally.

GRAY MATTER MATTERS said...

Well, hey, y'know my mom never did that stuff with or for me and I'm fine...really fine...um...I know she loved me...yes, she definitely loved me...in her own way...so I'm fine. Completely.
Seriously though, best of luck!!