When Paula asked me to write about my memories of your childhoods, I almost panicked. You are all adults now, so your childhoods are somewhat in the past. Having 4 children, there are so many memories to sort through. My mind was spinning, how could I choose a few favorites?
You all are so different, even your births, which went from excruciating pain [Mia] to easy peasy [Patricia]. One of you wanting to enter this world backwards [Beau} and the last one [Autumn] who couldn’t wait to get here, coming 6 weeks early. Each of you started your journey at your own pace and have continued that path into adulthood.
We hadn’t lived in Northeast Tennessee long when one winter we were snowed in for the month of January. You older girls were out of school for the New Year break and excited to go back to school. You were up early waiting for the bus when we saw the first hint of what might be little snow clouds moving in. You were only at school for about 3 hours when the words parents do not want to hear, came out over the TV. “School is out due to snow”. The date was January 3rd. The next time I saw you off on the school bus was February 2nd.
While it was thrilling to see the first storm leave up to 18 inches of snow, the next three weeks, not so much. Each storm started about the same way, snowing on the week-ends, melting during the week. By Friday hopes were raising that school would be open on the following Monday, only to be crushed when the snow hit again on Saturday or Sunday.
Power would come and go. By the second storm we were living mostly in the basement, where the wood stove was located. We kept warm, cooked and played games around this little wood burning stove. It was the center of all we did that January.
Mia and Patricia, do you remember keeping the little ones entertained, helping carry in wood and even walking to the local store for supplies? We lived over a mile from the store, so it was a long task for you two to undertake but somehow you always came back with smiles and laughter.
The second time that comes to mind was when Beau was in kindergarten. Beau came home from school with the Chicken Pox. He loved his sisters so much he wanted to share everything with them, including this. Autumn was the next one to catch it and then she spread the joy to her older sisters. Mia, at this time was a freshman in high school. To say she was a little upset about catching this “little kid” illness is an understatement. For the next 3 weeks, I was blessed to have all my babies under one roof, in different stages of itching, laughing, crying, eating, not eating and just plain grumpiness. Age made no difference, chicken pox proved to be a lover of all.
While both of these memories might seem to be of hardship and trouble, it is rare that we have a family gathering that one of you do not bring up a story from one of these special times in our lives. Hearing the stories from your points of view always seems to end with laughter and making more memories.
There are millions of other memories, large and small, from each of you that has made being in your lives a thing of joy. Of all the titles I have had in life, being the mother of Mia, Patricia, Beau and Autumn is the one I have loved most.
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