After devouring as much cake as he could before it mysteriously disappeared into the hands, hatches and floors of the daycare, my son ran off with a friend and I had some time with my daughter.
We talked about her day. She was extremely excited about a new table and a new house and how nice it was to have a table; they had just set it up in the kitchen. My face started to sink as I listened through forced smile while she described to me my grandmother's dining-room table. The one I'd lost in the divorce.
Childhood memories flooded my eyes, so I sucked them down toward my heart, stopping at my voice so I could share a singular memory from that childhood artifact that served as my inheritance. Rather than brand it as "mine," I thought I could simply share it with her from a distance. I told her enough for her to know the table meant something to me; after-all, she could enjoy it, even if not with me.
When I got home, I started remembering.
Days like film-reels began at that table in my grandmother's house. Friday nights, Saturday afternoons, weeks at a time in the summer, -stories like fairy-tales mixed with memories beyond imagination existed in that hearth center, a life-force that pounds even stronger sensed through the experiences of childhood.
Maybe its time for creative non-fiction to be a memoir, not for adults, but for the child inside who remembers Fourth of July like heaven, and thicket as a fairy fortress whose thorns protected me from dragons and angry babushkas. Perhaps its time to nourish; time to get myself out of the rut and into a place that I remember as "safe" even when it did skin my knees to nothing.
My childhood exists somewhere in there. I catch a shard-like glimmer of it on (very rare) occasion. Maybe if I approach optimism like a quest, -risking an adventure to crack the stone of hardened memory. Perhaps if I'm brave and take that risk, the light won't go all the way out, the way I so often feel it has. I want so badly for it to be real. I want so badly to catch fire once more. And mostly, I want the light back so I can teach my amazing children how to keep it aflame throughout their lives.