Category: Brazil

Memories Made

Andra Watkins has been encouraging her readers to make a memory. I regret it’s too late for me to make any more memories with my mom. So, instead, I’ll share a few.

  • Discussing with two of my aunts my bosom size and how lucky I was to be well endowed. I was TEN.
  • Inviting my boyfriend (if you can even call him that) in the 7th grade and his mother over for tea. So embarrassing. I don’t even think I spoke more than 20 words to him the whole time we went steady, let alone stare lovingly into his eyes. Sorry, Bas.
  • Treating me like a princess for a day. I think I was 7 or 8 years old. Even though I was the only child living at home by that time, my mom still made a big deal out of it.
  • Insisting that I take private Portuguese lessons over Christmas break even though we had just moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and my language teacher had decided not to give me a grade as I was so new.
  • Not insisting that I continue to take ballet or guitar lessons. Thank you, mom.
  • Buying me a paperback copy of Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care two months after Christian was born. Perhaps it was her way of telling me I wasn’t doing it right. But, at least, she did not judge.
  • Walking through the snow and ice in Pittsburgh during the winter of 1979 to catch the bus out to Northway Elementary School. It was miserable, but we did it every school day for several months. We had just moved back to the States after 5 years in Western Australia. And, my new classmates were weird.
  • Walking everywhere. All of the time. Mom loved to walk fast.
  • Making and eating pie. Mom used to bake them when I was little, lemon meringue in particular. But, in later years, she was always on the hunt for a competent, made-from-scratch piece of pie.

Writing of these few memories reminds me how my mom taught me to be open minded, to embrace different cultures and experiences, and to love and be loyal to my family. I only hope I can provide my son with half of the memories mom left me.

Mom in Ushuaia, Argentina, 2004

Mom in Ushuaia, Argentina, 2004

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