There’s an old old song my dad used to sing when I was growing up — apparently it was originally performed by The Four Lads — called “Moments to Remember.” It’s a great favourite with high-school reunions and such, since the lyrics reflect on a series of 1950’s style happy-young-folks-hijinks which the singers can look back on happily “when other nights and other days / may find us gone our separate ways.” Long before I had any high school or college memories to look back fondly on, the song used to bring a slight lump to my throat (this was in the days before childbearing rewired my hormones; songs that used to bring a slight lump to my throat now cause me to weep uncontrollably). I think it was just the sentimental nostalgia of the song, the idea that today’s happy moments are tomorrow’s “moments to remember.”
Now that I’m living through the years which (IMHO) are far more enjoyable than high school or college — i.e. the years of raising my kids — I find that my ever-present digital camera and my blog are wonderful tools for capturing “moments to remember.” I’m sure there’s some deep thought out there about how relying on technology weakens our ability to cherish memories in the recesses of our brains, but frankly, I don’t want to hear it right now. I want to capture two moments from this summer day that I hope will be “moments to remember” when the children are all grown up.
First, Emma helping Aunt Gertie take clothes in off the clothesline. This isn’t the most flattering shot of either of them, but I had to capture it candidly: if they’d posed, the moment would have been ruined. If it weren’t for Aunt Gertie, Emma would have no knowledge of clotheslines, since I rely completely on the dryer. But in an era where so many children are growing up disconnected from older family members and from everyday chores, I think a shot of my six-year-old helping my 91-year-old aunt take the clothes off the line, is worth preserving.
Second, the lemonade stand was in business again this evening for an hour or so. I was inside getting supper, hovering near the screen door and the front window to monitor the kids’ interactions with their customers but allowing them to handle all their client contacts — I figure as well as teaching enterprise, the lemonade stand also enhances their ability to interact with the public (though under a careful parental eye). I didn’t realize it would also provide the opportunity for cross-cultural contacts until I noticed that the six adults who had stopped in a group to buy lemonade and cookies were sitting down in a circle on our front lawn to enjoy them — and that they were Spanish tourists. After the kids had handled the initial sale I came out to say hi and snap a picture. Only one man in the group spoke English as a second language, and it was by no means a close second, but I gathered that they were from the Basque region, and that they were going (in the long term) to either Bonavista or Red Bay to participate in, or watch, what might have been either a musical or sporting event. In the short term they wanted directions to George Street. They were very friendly and gave the kids two Euro coins as well as enough Canadian money to pay for the lemonade and cookies, and they took some pictures and, I hope, came away with a good impression of Newfoundland children! Christopher and Emma thought serving six Spanish tourists was the apex of their lemonade-selling career, and I agree this moment will be difficult to top!