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A Lighter View… Maker of memories

July 1, 1993

A Lighter View… Maker of memories

By Karen M. Morris, Humorist

Showers are like magic for me. The feel of water running down my back and pooling around my toes lubricates my mind. This is when I do my best thinking.

As I reached for my anti-oxidant-cellulite-wrinkle soap, I realized something other than my cleanser was hideously wrong. I’d been in the shower for almost five minutes, yet my husband hadn’t scalded me by accidentally flushing the toilet, my son hadn’t brought in a new friend for me to meet, my daughter wasn’t dangling the portable phone over the shower door, begging me to talk with someone’s mom about car pooling to the mall, and the dog wasn’t barking to join me.

Terror gripped me. I was completely alone.

For years, I’d dreamt of the day when I could have five minutes of solitude. And now that I got my wish, I didn’t like it. At 40 plus, I found myself standing in the shower with a naked stranger. What happened to me?

There was a time when my professional colleagues called me “golden,” and I drew a power paycheck. Nothing was impossible for this rising star. Then, one day I walked away. But, where did that career cruiser go? I invested in a start-up production and focused all my energy on three assets—Leslie, Leo, and Morry Jr. I empowered them to soar and now my nest was almost empty.

I’ve never been quoted in Time magazine or interviewed by Larry King, but that doesn’t mean my ideas and accomplishments weren’t important. Was my sole value now based on how many people interrupted me in the shower? Certainly I’d made contributions of greater significance to society. I just needed to remember what they were.

I am called a “Boomer,” but I will not settle for such a pithy title. I am more than a catchy phrase. I am more than initials like SUV, ATM, and PMS. I am a person of action and depth. I am a maker of memories, and that has an enduring quality.

Long after I am gone, my presence will linger. My great grandchildren will know of my accomplishments but not from a history book. You see, I discovered how to be unforgettable. Success is determined not by beauty which is transitory, or by power which dominates the weak, but by the imprint left on those you touch.

For you see, I never lead troops into battle, but I was always there to defend my child against any oppressor. I never taught at a university, but I gave my son the love of reading and opened vistas to him that are endless. I never performed cardiac surgery, but I fixed broken and wounded hearts.

I never received a degree in psychiatry, but I spent countless nights listening to problems and giving counsel. I never ran track in the Olympics, but I trained my children to face the hurdles in life and be victorious. I was never on a SWAT team, but I chased legions of monsters from closets and dark rooms.

For all that I am not, I am still a lot.

I am the face my son saw when he woke up in intensive care. If he knew nothing else, he knew I would be there. I am faithful. I was his dancing partner in the kitchen. Maybe not his dream girl, but the girl of his dreams would be modeled after me. I am charm and beauty.

I am the one who ran for hours steadying the back of a bicycle, as my daughter learned to ride a two-wheeler. I am balance and grace. I am the one who sat up all night waiting for her date to bring her home. I am patience and vigilance.

I am the one who made a dinosaur costume with a matching handbag out of an old coat and rubber gloves. I am magical and creative. I am the one who stayed for the whole baseball game when the score was 28 to 1 and we were the. I am an optimist.

I am the one who found beauty in my youngest child’s face when he got new braces. I am a visionary. And, I am the one who showed my daughter how to overcome not being picked for the pom pom squad. I am courage and dignity.

But most of all, I am the one who saw something I was willing to die for when I held my child for the first time. I am true love.

As I see my children leaving, I think they no longer need me, but I am wrong. They take part of me wherever they go, and when I look at them, I see bits of my reflection. Standing in the shower, I understand the magic. I am a maker of memories, I am a M.O.M.

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