I realised today that I look at my childhood story books with the same sentiment as I look my children's out grown baby clothes.
I was hunting around in the garage for my Hans Christian Andersen book of Fairy Tales to read to my four year old after her first day at school. I found it and with it were about twenty books my mother and grandmother used to read to me as a child and a few more that I always meant to read but never did. I found Little Women, Alice in Wonderland and loads of Enid Blyton books I had devoured as a child. My favourites were The Magic Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair but nothing could compare to the joy of reading Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales. I love The Little Match Girl and remember as child I cried at the end, not because she had died, but because of the wonderful magical images the lit match had revealed to her. Her last moments on this earth were truly magical and she had now found the love and warmth she had craved in heaven with her grandmother.
These are the memories my grandparents left me and now they are no longer here I want to create the same magical memories for my children that they created for me.
For a treat my mother used to cook and, like most children, I loved to use a wooden spoon to eat the remainder of the sugary eggy goo that would become a perfectly risen cake in the oven. I used to love crafts and art and was forever painting, gluing and adding glitter to paper on the dining room table.
I wonder if my children will be the same. Will a certain smell or taste will remind them of me? In spring I put hyacinth bulbs in my eldest daughters room and we watch them grow and bloom over a number of weeks until they eventually release their fragrant smell. Daffodils grow wild by the riverbank and we pick some and put them in her room. This summer was warm and lunches were often picnics in the garden and we would walk to the town always coming back through the park where daughter one would whizz down the wibbly wobbly slide while I guide the pushchair down the curling path.
This is what I want my children to remember. Not memories distorted by rose tinted glasses but real ones punctuated by fragrant smells and tastes, stories, fairy tales, make-believe and imagination. Magical memories that never fade.