Posts Tagged With: Childhood memory

Forget Comfort Foods, Try This Instead

Comfort foods.  I could wax poetic about all the varieties, textures, tastes, emotions and colors of myriad edibles.  So could you.

Have you ever considered “comfort memories?”

It’s self-explanatory.  Here’s an easy example.

My son can put himself to sleep by remembering himself through a specific ski run at a specific resort.  Recalling the swoosh of the snow under his board, the bite of the cold across his cheeks, the trees as they blur past, the feel of his muscles as he moves to catch a curve and negotiates the bumps and jumps, all combine to relax and calm him into a deep and restful sleep.

Nice way to put yourself to sleep, huh? I think so.

I have a way of relaxing myself when I’m feeling ill or in pain that, if I remember to remember it, works very well to comfort and ease my body and mind. It’s rooted in how I was cared for as a child when I was sick. It’s definitely a comfort memory.

Asleep on the couch

Asleep on the couch (Photo credit: geekdreams)

I recall pillows propped on the dark green couch, blankets tucked around me, with the TV on low and bluish across the room.  I remember the smell and taste of the concoction Mom would mix. It consisted of a bit of warm water, a spoonful of paregoric, and some sugar.  It was a licorice smell and taste, somewhat bitter, but eased by that spoonful of sugar.  My tummy always settled out if I was nauseous, my sore throat eased.  Sleep came easier in spite of noise or fever or pain.  I can still feel the coolness of the pillowcase as she turned my pillow to the cool side when my fever was high.  There would often be a cool cloth on my forehead and smoothed across my hands and arms, pulling the heat from my body and sending a swell of relaxation through my tired, aching limbs. Even if she was only checking my fever, Mom’s hand on my cheek let me feel cared for, loved and safe.

If I can conjure that image, those sensations, then I can settle into a rest that reminds me of that love.  I can relax and let the discomfort of whatever hurts lift away from me, even if only momentarily.

To know such care and comfort should fall to every child.  Every adult should be able to pull from the library of memory such a book, filled with tales of love and triumph.

What memories bring peace to you?  Is there anything you can recall from childhood, or adulthood, that on remembering, brings comfort, peace, joy, relaxation, love?

Categories: Family, Love, Memory Lane, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Childhood Revisited: Swinging In From a Star

Today’s post  is a response to this WordPress Daily Post writing prompt.: “What is your earliest memory? Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you.”


Pressing my face into the mesh of memory, I’ve searched and searched for details from my earliest childhood.  My attempts to peel back the layers, clarify the view and remove the dust and cobwebs find little substance. 

The few memories that surface are vague at best.  I couldn’t tell you how old I was, only where I was, but not when.  It’s as if I’m waiting for movie clips about myself from the outside like an independent observer.  But in reality the only point of view is from the inside looking out.  There aren’t any movie trailers.

Well, there are those 8mm films my parents took.  But that’s a memory of a memory.

There is this one clear, unchanging mental image, my first memory, my first awareness of being. My first experience with me-ness. 

I am walking between my dad and my mom, going up the street towards our little white clapboard house.  Each of them has taken hold of one of my hands. Whether I could walk on my own, I have no idea.  Maybe I was young enough that they were encouraging walking, or I could have been older and needing to be kept in check by the two of them. The world is vague and blotchy, all color and wash. The features of most things have no distinct form or shape. Our house is the only clear landmark.

The sensation of a hand in each of theirs is vivid; warmth and energy pulse into me.  And then, suddenly, I am soaring up and out, secured between them like a swing.  Then I am walking on the ground again.  I hear, “One, two, three!” and I sail out into the air again, safely tethered to them both.

Multiple times they count and launch me heavenward.  Each “three” creates the sensation of my body feeling free and ephemeral, accompanied by gravity’s pull back between them. Whether I spoke the words or merely thought them, my mind says, “again,” after each swing out and back. 

night sky

night sky (Photo credit: dcysurfer / Dave Young)

I remember laughter, mine or theirs.  Both, I’m sure.

I could easily believe a tale of my birth as a launching from heaven, lofted into the cosmos, riding a wave of star dust and gently landing between my father and mother. Caught between the two of them, I scatter dust from my journey as I swing back and forth, back and forth.  It’s a fairy tale worth holding on to. 

My earliest memory of childhood makes it feel as if I came swinging into this world suspended between them, held fast by love and joy.





Categories: Love, Memory Lane, parenting, Wondering | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

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