Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rewriting Memories

I sat in my car watching my son leap out of the school bus hoping that the weight of his backpack wouldn't crush him on his dismount. He landed a perfect 10 at the bottom of the steps and immediately sprung into action sprinting toward his friend. They must have been making paper airplanes on the ride home because they each had what appeared to be a stash of folded paper in their hands. As soon as they were in throwing distance of one another, they began pelting the crowd with their homemade crafts. I could hear their shouts of joy and roaring laughter through the closed windows. But the fun ended when my son's friend spotted his ride and took off like a shot. My son glided a few more planes before repositioning his gigantic backpack on his back and finally looking around for me.

When he spotted my car, he lifted his chin acknowledging my presence and slowly made his way over picking up a few stray airplanes and making necessary repairs. As he swung open the car door he asked, "Are you still dizzy, Mom?" This morning's bout of vertigo was by far the worst. I barely made it downstairs and I suppose, in hindsight, I never should have gotten up. I was a nasty, cranky, bitter mess during breakfast and I let me family know it. My Mommy Dearest performance ended when I screamed bloody murder about a pillow on a chair that hadn't been put back properly the night before. Then I dramatically excused myself and stumbled back upstairs cursing and carrying on every step of the way until I collapsed in my bed.

"I am a bit dizzy" I told my son "but not nearly as bad as I was this morning." It's so like my sweet son to ask how I am feeling, but I think this time he was inquiring because he wanted to know if I was still in a foul mood. I told him that I slept from about 9:00 am until about 1:30 in the afternoon and woke up feeling much better.

"So when I was in reading class, you were falling asleep." He paused for a second and then added, "I almost fell asleep at that time, too." He confided that sometimes he gets so sleepy in reading, he has to concentrate just to keep his eyes open. My power of recall is pretty much shot, but I have vivid memories of sitting at a desk trying desperately to control my head bobs. I'd like to think that those sleepy moments came later in the day after a full schedule of challenging classes, but who am I kidding, I was probably doing head bobs in the morning just like my son. But, the beauty of not having a good memory is that I can rewrite history and since my son pretty much believes everything that I say, I am able to fool my captive audience. "Hmm, I never got bored in school. I loved all of my classes, especially reading." Then I added, "Maybe we need to adjust your bedtime." I may be dizzy, but I'm still as sharp as a tack.

During dinner my daughter complained that she has to memorize a bunch of prepositions for a test. "It's so stupid" she whined, "we're just going to forget them after the test." I'll give it to you, 99% of what I learned in middle school is completely gone, but somehow the prepositions stuck with me. About, above, after, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beside, between, beyond...I can rattle them off in alphabetical order in about 16 seconds. If you'd prefer, I can sing them to the tune of America the Beautiful. A useless feat, I realize, but I celebrate the few things I've managed to retain.

I'll teach her the new lyrics to America the Beautiful over the next few days and she'll be all set for that test. And maybe in 40 years she will still be able to spot a prepositional phrase when she sees one. One can only hope. But it would be nice if her memory failed her on one account...and that would be the memory of her lunatic mother and her crazy performance this morning. I'll do my best to rewrite history, "Remember when I had vertigo and I was just not myself...." Hmm. I don't think she'll buy it, but my son probably will.


Anonymous said...

Oh mother, you are so funny. You are right thought that I am not gullible and your son is. Is that a preposition? I know that you are not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition. hmmmm

Karen said...

Seriously, does my niece not know a verb from a preposition? We have us some work to do...

brittany said...

oh do please list them all. my high school ap english teacher taught us them too to the tune of america the beautiful. she made us stand up and sing them all together. kind of funny. i lost the list though (being a senior in college) i would like to relearn them!

also, do you have any ways to remember the country names & locations in the middle east and asia?