Memory Beach Lane
This post is a bit all over the place...but my brain is on vacation...
So I've kinda been bummed (to put it mildly) about my...family breakup.
I've also been going down memory lane CONSTANTLY these days.
In part, because of the breakup.
Part of it is me preparing for my grandfather to finally be at peace...thinking of all the good times we had together.
But a funnier part comes from one of my closest Montreal friends (I'm not sure why I need to distinguish geographical location, but I do) who regularly sings songs from my parents extensive LP collection, which i was allowed to play with at a very young age. The more he sings, the more I remember.
Today's memory madness came again this morning as I watched a family of three play with a ball in the water.
The mom and dad playfully chasing the ball in the deeper end of the water while the little one...maybe 5 or 6 laughed and chased the ball in the shallow water.
Flashback to the last vacation I took with my parents.
I was 16 and we went camping for two weeks. I remember feeling lonely a bit. The life of an only child is an interesting one. I also remember one day (possibly more were the same) where my mom and I were standing on a pier on a beautiful lake in the Okanogan. I'm not sure where my dad was. It was a hot evening and I am a true Aquarius, obsessed with the water and wanting to swim almost non stop. But it was boring. So somehow, my mom and I starting playing a game where she'd throw a huge stick off of the pier and I'd swim out and go get it. The water was deep and very much over my head. I love the water but can barely swim, but it was fun game....of essentially "go fetch" that you'd ordinarily see with a human and golden retriever or Labrador of some sorts.
I also remember of on that same vacation me crying and crying in the campsite toilet. Who knows why I was crying. Teenage hormones, missing my boyfriend (I'm not sure if I had one at the time), whatever the reason. Earlier that day I remember my dad telling me that day that no matter what I wanted to have for supper, I could have it. My mom and dad were having steak for dinner - even then I had a hard time enjoying meat - and I chose Velveta Shells & Cheese. This type of food would have Never been purchased in our day-to-day life, but it's all I wanted. I remember my dad thinking it was hilarious, they were trying to find the best cuts of meat...and I'm begging for a box of fake cheese & pasta for $2.98 (it was the '90s).
Anyway, I finally came out of my crying moment that evening to find my Velveta Shells & Cheese perfectly prepared and ready for me to eat. My parents just let me be, continuing on with whatever, letting me have my teenage moment and enjoying the rest of the night together. Every night we would have a coffee (hot cocoa for me) and then I'd pass out well before 10pm.
That same vacation, EVERY single evening, around 2 am, I'd wake up my dad to walk to me the camp toilets, and dutifully, he'd wake up, walk me there and wait for me DIRECTLY outside the toilets (I was very scared of the dark) and then go back to the tent and off to sleep. Looking back, I bet my dad liked that his grown up teenager still needed him in the middle of the night.
Which gets me thinking about the uniqueness of families. My childhood wasn't perfect. But I have a lot of good memories. Just like the little boy & parents will have of this vacation. I worry I'll never have a real family of my own.
It KILLS me when people tell me, "Oh, at least you guys didn't have children" when I talk about the divorce.
First, because I am a child of divorce and sure, I'm totally messed up, but no more so than my friends of a non-divorced family. And second...because we didn't even have a chance to have children. Our family of four (Louis, Me, the girls) never became a family of five or family of six, and yes, it would be a non-traditional family, but it's the 2010s....what is "traditional" anymore? Two dads? A single mom? Pregnancy through surrogacy (thank you Stephanie ❤️)? An adopted child from x country or a foster child?
Of course, when I was little, I didn't dream of any of those...of course I wanted to be married by 24, start having babies at 25, etc. But as I...age/grow up/see the reality...any of those situations (ok, except the 2 moms or 2 dads) is possible.
So back to the family of three on the beach. Thank you for helping me walk down memory lane to my own childhood...and helping me see that my life is not over...that the family I'm looking for will happen one day. That life is an unwritten novel...that anything is possible. That I'll make a family of my own. Eventually.
I can never give up hope that one day...I'll be on a beach...with my family...remembering this trip.