Whether it is a side effect of my ADHD 0r just a function of a terrible memory, the fact remains that my childhood memories are fleeting. I remember little of my life or family from childhood, everything before age 12 is pretty much gone.
One thing I have realized fairly recently is that the memories that I still have of my parents are from when there were in their mid 30’s, where I am now. I caught this the other day as I was washing my hands.
I used to think my dad’s hands looked incredibly different than mine. They had hairs on the back, and I could see his veins. My hands would never look like that. Except now they do. with little liver spots and hairs. Now I can look back on my memories of my dad, and imagine how I felt when he would have a seriously talk about discipline, manners, or just to tell me he was proud of me; and I can imagine my kids feeling like that when I talk to them.
You know how they always say you’ll get your parents, when you be come one? That one day, you’ll be thanking them for everything? My dad and I didn’t always see eye to eye, but I tell you we have to this day a bond that nothing can break. When I have to be tough with my kids, I hope that one day they will see me the same way I see him. Not as an old man (not that that would even be possible, he runs more miles in a week than I do in a month), but as a part of myself, without which I would not be who I am.
What do my kids see when they look at my hands? Will my daughters look back and hate me for pushing them to keep trying to learn to ride their bike or figure out their math homework; or will they be proud of what they did on their own, thanks to me? When I make them stay in their room with each other until they stop fighting, the room is clean, or dinner’s ready… Will they appreciate that, or hate me for it? When I tell them I love them, and that I don’t like being strict because I remember how it felt on the receiving end, but that sometimes it’s the only way for them to learn, do they believe me?
Their hands are so young and full of life. They are tiny next to mine, but not as tiny as they used to be.